KTN: Helping Manufacturers to Innovate and Innovators to Manufacture
Find out how the Knowledge Transfer Network‚Äôs¬†manufacturing team is¬†helping manufacturers innovate their¬†processes and products.
First published in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Newsletter July 2018 here.
There has been a lot of talk¬†about the UK‚Äôs productivity gap.¬†Raising productivity is one of the¬†government‚Äôs key priorities, forming a¬†central part of the industrial strategy.
In May 2018 BEIS launched the¬†business productivity review. This¬†call for evidence which is now closed¬†was used to understand what firm level¬†actions could be most effective¬†in improving the productivity and¬†growth of small and medium-sized¬†businesses. This review focused on¬†businesses with lower productivity,¬†sometimes described as a ‚Äòlong tail‚Äô¬†that lags behind the leading firms and¬†underperform relative to domestic and¬†international benchmarks.
Some would say that there is no¬†coincidence that in July 2018 the¬†Government launched Business¬†Basics: Boosting SME Productivity a¬†new fund to support small business¬†growth.
‚ÄòPut simply, UK businesses must do¬†more to improve their productivity to¬†get themselves match fit to compete¬†globally in the years ahead. Low uptake¬†of the nuts and bolts technologies of¬†today is a key feature of the productivity¬†puzzle that can, and must, be tackled.‚Äô
Matthew Fell, CBI UK Chief Policy¬†Director
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR,¬†Industry 4.0, Industrial Digitalisation,¬†Digital Manufacturing (the list of¬†names goes on) is seen to play a key¬†role in improving productivity across¬†the UK. However when people mention¬†these words do you know what they¬†really mean? Surely cost is a barrier for¬†these long tail businesses?
‚ÄúIt isn‚Äôt about finding pieces of a puzzle, it‚Äôs about creating and putting those¬†exceptional pieces together‚Äù – Glenn¬†Van Deken
With this in mind should¬†manufacturers be looking to innovation¬†as part of the solution to improving¬†productivity?
We know from experience that¬†innovation doesn‚Äôt always have to be¬†time consuming or expensive. There¬†are inexpensive, innovative solutions¬†that can be used to monitor traditional¬†manufacturing equipment, combining¬†the use of low cost computing¬†power with sensor technology. For¬†a manufacturer with traditional¬†machinery this is revolutionary and¬†make Industry 4.0 more accessible¬†than ever.
So if you are sat reading this with¬†your own productivity (or dare we say¬†innovation) challenges and not really¬†sure, the good news is that there is¬†help out there (and also lots of things¬†you can read about the topic) across¬†the UK.
There is no denying that productivity is¬†an issue, and that when implemented¬†well, digital technologies can play a¬†key role. We know the landscape is¬†confusing and it‚Äôs difficult to know¬†where to start and identify what¬†support is out there.
The Knowledge Transfer Network‚Äôs¬†manufacturing team is here to¬†help manufacturers innovate their¬†processes and products to drive¬†growth and productivity; working to¬†inform, simplify, connect, signpost¬†to funding and support. We have¬†developed 4Manufacturing¬Æ, a¬†diagnostic tool focused on helping¬†manufacturers accelerate the adoption¬†of digital technologies to drive¬†innovation and improved productivity.
If you are interested in finding out more¬†please get in touch.