30 November, 2023

Embracing digitalisation amid global challenges

30 October, 2023

In a world marked by constant change, adaptability is the key to thriving in any industry. The hydraulics and pneumatics sectors are no exception. As global challenges continue to mount, from climate change and supply chain disruptions to significant geopolitical conflicts, companies in these sectors must transform to remain competitive and sustainable.

The imperative of collaborative action in UK Manufacturing

27 September, 2023

With recent positive news that the UK’s manufacturing sector has climbed one place to eighth in the world rankings, overtaking France in the process, Make UK’s latest Regional Manufacturing Outlook report offers an insightful examination that not only illuminates the sector’s current status but also prompts a reflection on the challenges and potential opportunities that lie ahead as we approach the end of the year.

Addressing the UK manufacturing skills gap

29 August, 2023

The UK’s manufacturing sector stands at a crucial crossroads, embracing the digital industrial revolution to bolster productivity, enhance energy efficiency, and confront the dual challenges posed by the Covid pandemic and the impact of Brexit on supply chains.

The need for a long-term industrial vision

27 June, 2023

Britain’s manufacturers are seeing a continued rebound in activity in the second quarter of the year, easing fears of a significant recession according to a survey published by Make UK and accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

The need to be ahead of the curve

11 May, 2023

The latest UK Manufacturing PMI has shown that despite difficult conditions, UK manufacturers maintained a positive outlook in April. Optimism rose to a 14-month high, with over 61% of companies reporting that they expect output to rise during the coming year.

Budget 2023 highlights challenges & opportunities

22 March, 2023

The hydraulics and pneumatics industry is primarily driven by manufacturing, construction, and the engineering sectors, and any changes in government policies and funding can obviously impact these industries, leading to a ripple effect on the hydraulics and pneumatics industry

The skills issue

20 February, 2023

With engineering job vacancies currently on the wane after a more buoyant early and middle part of last year, it would seem economic uncertainty is the likely nub of the problem. Following a period in the first half of 2022, which saw engineering vacancy numbers undulate month-on-month, the summer period saw steady jobs growth, peaking in August before beginning to slow as September’s economic jitters kicked in. This is according to analysis by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The rise and rise of industrial robotics

28 November, 2022

Robots in one form or another have held a fascination in the public psyche since the ancient world. The philosopher Mozi discussed humanoid automatons in the 4th Century CE, while discussions concerning artificial companions and servants are found in the ancient legends of Cadmus, who, legend has it, sowed dragon’s teeth that magically morphed into soldiers. Some will remember the robot in the 1960s TV series Lost In Space and its friendly and helpful (though sometimes a little obstinate) human-like character. Then, there is Star Wars’ C-3PO and the list goes on. More recently, several companies have been designing and developing humanlike robots for healthcare, general assistance and companionship. Also, more and more children and young adults are becoming fascinated by a growing number of celebrity robots and the way they ‘come to life’ through artificial intelligence (AI).

Understanding the scope and potential of digitalisation

25 October, 2022

There is growing interest, coupled with a fair amount of remaining confusion, surrounding digital transformation. As editor, I’m aware that many readers of this journal certainly want to know how digitally transformative technologies can play a positive part in their companies’ road to business and operational optimisation and development. So, reflecting on sources that could throw more light on the topic within the context of manufacturing and supply chain issues, I remembered some recent Talking Industry panel discussions.


27 September, 2022

The sad loss of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 has naturally elicited many a reflection from subjects of all backgrounds and professions. While some will remember specific events or moments at which they may have played their own part, possibly even involving a face-to-face meeting with our longest-serving monarch, many will reflect that, for most Britons, Queen Elizabeth has been the only sovereign they have known during their lifetime, spanning a truly impressive 70 years of service to the nation.

Automation advantage

23 August, 2022

We hear more and more about the growing implementation of robotics and automation technology within UK industry. Compared with some other developed nations, we may be slower on the uptake of such technology, but it is increasingly changing our day-to-day lives in the workplace. Indeed, a recent survey done by ABB Robotics found that of 250 SME and manufacturing companies, 81.2% were considering incorporating robotics into their processes to combat issues with workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions.

Flying the flag for Maintenance 4.0

23 June, 2022

Maintenance processes have always been critical within manufacturing and engineering from a plant and asset management perspective. The methodologies have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, and we are now hearing more and more about Maintenance 4.0 – part of the Industry 4.0 ecosystem concerning greater levels of automation and data interconnection.

A fair cop for robots

10 May, 2022

In most cases, humans have accountability in the workplace, whether in terms of quality standards, health & safety practice, treatment of other members of staff and so on. Therefore, decision making and the execution of practices that follow those decisions need to be carefully and professionally considered within current legal frameworks. Interestingly, as the use of robots becomes more prevalent within various professional spheres, a question that hitherto hasn’t been addressed to any major degree is what level of accountability should our high-tech friends have for their actions during their allocated hours of work?

Don’t let your security guard down

24 March, 2022

With the current global situation and greater risk of malicious actors posing a threat to companies’ data and internet security, it is sobering news that web malware (47%) and ransomware (42%) now top the list of security threats that organisations are most concerned about. This is according to the latest survey by Menlo Security – for which Sapio Research questioned 505 IT decision makers across the UK and US including CIOs and CISOs during February. Yet despite the growing risks, less than a third (27%) have advanced threat protection in place on every endpoint device that can access corporate applications and resources. The Menlo research, ‘The state of threat prevention: evasive threats take center stage’, explores what steps organisations are taking to secure themselves in the wake of a new class of cyber threats – known as Highly Evasive Adaptive Threats (HEAT).

Automation and the journey to net zero

08 February, 2022

The government’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 50% on 1990 levels by 2025 and to net zero by 2050 is now a firm commitment and mantra. In the words of the prime minister, the UK’s strategy for net zero is to lead the world in ending our contribution to climate change, while turning this mission into the greatest opportunity for jobs and prosperity for our country since the industrial revolution. But is enough being done to encourage the deployment of the types of technology capable of helping companies to realise this end? Robotics and automation, for example, certainly have a substantial part to play, but how can more firms of all sizes be encouraged to embrace this type of technology? Mike Wilson, chief automation officer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), believes it is largely about strategy. During the recent DFA Manufacturing Media webinar ‘Talking Industry – Robotics & Advanced Automation’, he encouraged businesses to develop an automation strategy in the same way that they develop a business plan. “You figure out where you want to be in 10 years’ time and determine how to get there not only in terms of the equipment you are going to use but also in terms of how you’re going to develop the workforce, their skills and so on – and undertake that as a business improvement strategy and in relation to the net zero.”

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