Northern Manufacturing & Electronics, which is described as the North's top industrial technology show, returns to EventCity, Manchester on 2 and 3 October 2019. Since its inception six years ago, the show has become popular among the North's engineering community as a marketplace for all types of industrial hardware, components and consumables. However, the show is equally valuable as an avenue of knowledge transfer. With UK manufacturing currently beset by a unique set of operational, commercial and technical challenges, being up-to-speed on all the latest developments is an essential survival strategy.
Recent surveys have indicated that while the majority of manufacturing SMEs see great potential in Smart Factories and Industry 4.0, a sizeable proportion admit to still being unsure how these technologies can be practically applied to their businesses. Consequently, the digital transformation among UK manufacturers has been comparatively slow, with a mere one per cent recognised as 'Digital Champions' in the 2019 Annual Manufacturing Report.
Exhibitions are a great place to bridge the knowledge gap, and Northern Manufacturing, in particular, with its wide spectrum of exhibitors, gives visitors plentiful opportunities to delve into many different aspects of Industry 4.0 in the course of a single visit. There are numerous live demonstrations of the latest machine tools and automated production technologies from firms such as Haas Automation, XYZ Machine Tools, Advanced Manufacturing Services, Laser Lines, Tri-Tech 3D and Bodor Laser amongst others.
High-tech components on show include the latest offerings from igus UK, showcasing its popular energy chain, bearings, linear guides, flexible cables, stock bar and stock plate materials. The company's maintenance- and lubrication-free products are designed to cut costs and increase the service life of modern machinery by offering enhanced corrosion, wear, environmental and debris resistance over traditional materials. One of the big new names for 2019 is industrial power transmission specialist Ringspann UK - part of the global Ringspann GmbH group. Ringspann provides a wide range of power transmission components for industry, plus associated hardware such as brakes, overload clutches and condition monitoring.
Also exhibiting for the first time is Eurotherm - part of the Schneider Electric group. Established over 50 years ago, the firm provides world-class process control, recording and automation, and has decades of experience in meeting the technical and regulatory challenges faced across a wide range of industries. Other exhibitors addressing the 'back office' systems of digital enterprise via ERP/ERM software, stock control and training include 123 Insight; its resource planning and management suite is suitable for all types, shapes and sizes of business from just two staff to over 4500. There are also several accounts connectivity options, from Pegasus Opera interfaces through to tight integration to Sage 50, Sage 200, Access Dimensions and Xero using Accounts Gateway.
The business improvement and lean team from Manufacturing Excellence will be on hand at the show, offering advice on how companies can increase productivity and profitability. The firm provides integrated training, consultancy and implementation support in Lean and Agile thinking, at all levels, with clients ranging from those just beginning their continuous improvement journey to several who have UK Best Factory Awards.
For those wishing to delve into the topics of Lean, continuous improvement and TPM in greater depth, the show's seminar programme provides an outstanding opportunity to hear leading authorities outline the latest ideas. Award-winning author, creator of the Lean Iceberg Model and partner at S.A. Partners, Gary Griffiths, will share how 'Excellent' organisations have delivered results for their business by embedding and sustaining Lean & Continuous Improvement. Andy Brunskill, Author of 'TPM: A Foundation of Operational Excellence' will discuss an 11 step model that can be used to deploy an effective, systematic TPM programme. The model incorporates the lean thinking tools and systems, such as OEE and RCA, and will also look at the leadership and engagement systems that will support sustainable change. Popular presenter Tim Scurlock takes a detailed look at how Porsche improved performance by the use of Lean techniques to reduced cost and lead times. Made Smarter and the Manufacturing Growth Fund will present an overview of how companies across the region have grown their businesses, including practical tips on how to access the advice, funding and support that is available across the North West.
Other sessions look at topics such as CE marking, mergers and acquisition strategies and a look at the R&D incentives available from the taxman. There is also a look at the possibilities of 3D printing, and an overview of advanced materials such as composites. Dr Ben Hargreaves of NetComposites and exhibiting firm Coventive Composites, will deliver an introduction to the world of composites. Janaina Gianfelice de Castro, from leading manufacturer SABIC, takes a more in-depth look at the firm's ULTEM resin portfolio and how advanced materials can be used to deliver thinner, lighter, more energy-efficient products. A full list of sessions is available at www.industrynorth.co.uk.
Entry to Northern Manufacturing & Electronics 2019 and on-site parking is free, with easy accessibility by road. EventCity is likewise easily accessible by public transport from central Manchester. To register online for complimentary tickets simply visit www.industrynorth.co.uk.