Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manufacturing Is Not out of Date, Just Ask Our Experts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manufacturing Is Not out of Date, Just Ask Our Experts

Article excerpt

Byline: By Cameron Ross

A tyneside machining company one Friday badly needed to reduce cycle time by the following Monday to meet a specific job deadline.

It appealed for help from the Regional Centre of Manufacturing Excellence (RCME), which sent round a specialist able to make an immediate diagnostic visit. A solution was delivered that halved the planned machining time.

In another context, Wessington Cryogenics Ltd has now worked with RCME specialists on a number of consultancy projects, making process improvements that have led to considerable savings - and generated pounds 1m of potential new business.

These examples illustrate two categories of manufacturing enquiries that the RCME receive and tackle to the benefit of firms, reacting to specific needs, or pro-actively seeking to improve process efficiency.

The RCME provides this support recognising that the importance of manufacturing to the region remains undeniable. Year-on-year, the Top 200 list of our most successful companies provides irrefutable evidence of manufacturing still being the key to our economy.

Manufacturing is NOT out of date. We are simply moving into an era where technological advance is transforming the way we do business.

It's a requirement of global development that industrialising countries take their slice of the manufacturing pie. Those of us with foresight have known for a while that we can not compete on the basis of low wages or "reputation", but that survival depends on using high-tech tools, new technology, skilled people and through investing in new products and processes.

Many UK manufacturers are world leaders. We excel in sectors such as car production, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and food - and examples of these organisations are here in the North-East.

The contribution to economic output by the manufacturing sector in this region is greater than the rest of the UK as a whole. Forecasts suggest that jobs within the sector will fall over the next 10 years, while the contribution of manufacturing to economic output will grow to 25pc of the North-East's GVA (gross value added).

However, to bring about growth in the manufacturing sector we need to ensure companies have the skill sets to compete. …

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