Global Developments in Advanced Manufacturing

The US manufacturing sector benefits from their nation’s global strategic goal to remain the most powerful country in the world militarily. This requires a large innovative manufacturing sector and the Department of Defence is a major spender on industrial and technical R&D.  Federal decisions need to be based on good analysis and the Institute for… Read more »

Training & Competitiveness: too little UK investment for recovery?

Last month we suggested, following the Workplace Employee Relations Survey, that across the economy at the moment too many workers are simply working harder, rather than increasing the output of their work groups. Training in team working and problem solving occurs in too few workplaces and the percentage of workplaces offering training in these skills… Read more »

The Eight Pillars Of Perfection

Paul Hardiman, ACQI, is Principal – Global Best Practice at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Industry Forum Ltd, a collaboration between leading vehicle manufacturers, the SMMT and the Government to improve the performance and competitiveness of the UK’s automotive supply chain Paul reports on how Total Productive Maintenance (known to some as… Read more »

UK Teamwork & Problem Solving: On The Decline

How the UK economy is developing in terms of jobs, skills, training and management is much clearer with the recent publication of two major surveys. The 2011 Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS) looks at the experience of managers and employees and is part of a series stretching back periodically more than 20 years so that trends… Read more »

The UK Industrial Strategy reveals engineering skills needs

At the end of March the UK Industrial Strategy took a major step forward with the publication of sector strategies for aerospace, civil nuclear energy and oil and gas. The Life Sciences strategy has already been in place for 15 months. In all there are eleven key sectors, (including automotive manufacturing) and in coming months… Read more »

The State of the Union: Advanced Manufacturing

The United States and China have recently been neck and neck in the race to be the largest manufacturing sector in the global economy. United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) reported that in 2012 China had definitely overtaken the US. At first sight manufacturing does not appear to be a major factor in… Read more »

Meeting the Civil Nuclear Supply Chain Skills Challenge

The UK’s plans to replace its nuclear electricity generation capacity, with estimated expenditure of £60bn up to 2030, are often in the headlines, for example with the decision of Hitachi to join the programme.  There is also a major but less well known programme of nuclear decommissioning. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), formed in April… Read more »

Key developments in Aerospace & Defence

The UK aerospace industry currently has about 17% of the global market and aims to maintain that share to 2030 as the global market expands substantially. In 2012 the global aerospace and defence industry increased its revenues by over $7bn. Sales from the production of commercial aircraft increased by over $13bn. The defence segment, on… Read more »

Is Lean Frugal?

In July 2012, Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, published a report, Our Frugal Future: Lessons from India’s Innovation System. Frugal Innovation (FI) is a response to limitations in resources, whether financial, material or institutional which turns those constraints into an advantage. Through minimising the use of resources in development, production and delivery, or by leveraging… Read more »

The new climate for Railway investment in Great Britain

The debate about the growth prospects of the UK economy often focuses on the role of infrastructure investment, especially road and rail investment. The potential of the rail sector has been recognised by the European Community’s in its ambitious plan for investment this decade in R&D, Horizon 2020. The European rail sector has emerged as… Read more »