With manufacturing productivity in Q4 2016 growing by 1.7 per cent on the previous quarter - but overall growth still lagging behind the curve - the UK economy continues to be haunted by the "productivity puzzle". Engineering adhesives specialist Intertronics works with its customers to enhance their productivity in order to compete in both home and export markets.
The latest Executive Survey from manufacturers' organisation EEF clearly confirms a broad recognition of this need. Findings indicate that in order to achieve their business goals in 2017, UK manufacturers will achieve greater productivity in three ways: (1) process innovation, (2) investment in technology and innovation, and (3) continued work to ensure flexible supply chains. Often the approach is quite holistic, tackling more than one of these considerations at a time.
56 per cent of survey respondents reported that they will be undertaking process innovations to increase productivity. Medium-sized firms (those with 101-250 employees and quite possibly the unsung heroes of our manufacturing economy) are the most likely to do this, with seven in ten citing it as an action they will undertake. Half of companies surveyed said they expect to increase investment in technology and innovation in the next 12 months.
Intertronics says that it is successfully helping both existing and new customers with process innovation in areas such as very fast light curing of adhesives and coatings using UV and/or visible light, and sophisticated mixing and degassing. They are investing in technology and innovation in the form of material application automation and precision, and surface treatment. Customers also enjoy reliable, fast delivery and, where required, flexible shipments, consistent with supply chain efficiency.
Intertronics Managing Director Peter Swanson explains: "Our focus is on the use of advanced engineering adhesives as an efficient and reliable fastening method suited to automated assembly, in the form of our latest materials dispensing and curing technologies. For example, UV/visible light cure adhesives that cure in seconds, THINKY mixing and degassing equipment, alternative dispensing technologies, our range of dispensing robots and advanced surface treatment techniques are all helping manufacturing companies at all levels of automation maturity to enhance their processes and productivity."
Intertronics organises regular seminars to demonstrate how technologies and products can play a major role in this. In addition, the company's Oxford-based Technology Centre is in constant use, enabling both design and production engineers to evaluate and compare adhesives, coatings, sealants and equipment in the context of their assemblies and processes - enhancing competitiveness, product quality and reputation.
For further information please see www.intertronics.co.uk/productivitypuzzle.