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EU border red tape is disrupting UK manufacturers

The manufacturers’ group Make UK is calling for the Government to tackle the border delays being caused by complex paperwork since the UK left the European single market at the start of the year. A Make UK survey of 186 manufacturers has shown that 60% of them have experienced significant disruption at the UK’s borders with the EU since 1 January, with 61% suffering from supply chain disruptions either importing or exporting to or from the EU, and 32% having their supply chains impacted in both directions.

Southern Manufacturing show shifts to the autumn

The organisers of the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show have announced that the 2021 event, previously postponed from February to April, will now take place as a two-day event on 6 and 7 October at its usual venue, the Farnborough International Exhibition Centre. The 2022 show will return to its usual dates in early February, five months later. It will be a three-day event, running from 8–10 February.

Rubix adds repairer Knowlton & Newman to its portfolio

The industrial distributor Rubix UK has acquired Knowlton & Newman which provides electromechanical repair services to customers in the South of England. The acquisition is part of the Rubix’s network development strategy, and follows its recent acquisition of the industrial automation specialist, Matara.

Half of UK industry feels opportunities outweigh risks

Fears over the impact of the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU and the attractiveness of the UK for investment and talent are clouding the outlook for manufacturers as they enter 2021, according to a survey conducted by Make UK and PwC.

Motor firm expands as part of $50m fuel-cell plane project

The British specialist electric motor manufacturer Aeristech is expanding and creating up to 60 jobs after being awarded £2.75m of Government funding as part of the $49.7m UK-based HyFlyer II project which aims to deliver the world’s first 19-seat hydrogen-electric powered aircraft by 2023. Aeristech is planning to expand its aerospace activities, including developing technologies such as power-dense electric motors and controls for hydrogen fuel-cell compressors. The company is investing in an advanced facility in the West Midlands and, over the next four years, expects create up to 60 skilled roles in areas such as power electronics and drive engineering.

Brexit-buying pushes UK manufacturing PMI to 37-month high

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the UK manufacturing sector hit a three-year high of 57.5 in December 2020 – up from 55.6 in November – boosted by customers bringing forward orders to beat the end of the Brexit transition period, and by the ongoing bounce from the re-opening of the global economy which increased new orders and pushed output higher. However, port delays and other disruptions meant that supply-chain delays were among the longest in the survey's history.

Made Smarter manufacturers expect to create 750 jobs

Manufacturers in North West England that have been supported by Made Smarter, the initiative that is helping UK SMEs to adopt Industry 4.0 principles, are predicting that they will create more than 750 new jobs from £12.6m of investment .

Revamped ETL site makes it easier to find efficient products

The UK Government has upgraded its Energy Technology List (ETL) Web site to simplify the purchasing of energy-efficient products including high-efficiency motors and variable-speed drives. Launched in 2001, the ETL provides information on energy-saving equipment, offering fast access to independently verified product data, with links to manufacturer Web sites. The ETL is owned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

£5.75m funding will back motors for cars, boats and tractors

A collaborative project aimed at developing a supply chain to manufacture an innovative electric motor in the UK is one of 21 projects that will share £5.75m in Government funding to help develop PEMD (power electronics, machines and drives) technologies aimed at cutting carbon emissions in the transport, energy and industrial sectors. The funding, from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is part of the Driving the Electric Revolution programme aimed at making the UK a global leader in PEMD technologies that will be essential to achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

UK manufacturers predict rapid recovery after vaccine rolls out

The vast majority of UK manufacturers (95%) expect their businesses to recover fully from the effects of the Coviod-19 pandemic within a year of a vaccine becoming available. According to a poll of 111 mid-market manufacturers, conducted by the accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, the remaining 5% expect recovery to take 1-3 years.

Rubix buys Matara to strengthen its mechatronics arm

The industrial distributor Rubix UK has acquired Matara UK, the Gloucestershire-based supplier of industrial automation, linear motion, pneumatics, aluminium extrusion and actuator products and services.

Gresham buys Relec for $4m to boost its presence and capacity

Gresham Worldwide has acquired the Dorset-based power electronics and display technology specialist, Relec Electronics, for around $4m, with potential performance-related payments of up to $665,000. Gresham plans to combine Relec with its Salisbury-based subsidiary Gresham Power Electronics, which designs and manufactures power electronics for the industrial and naval markets, with the aim of boosting its presence in the UK and Europe, and augmenting its manufacturing base and specialist product lines.

UK motor developers benefit from £92m vehicle programme

UK companies working on novel electric motor technologies are to receive millions of pounds of funding as part of a £92m government/industry scheme to accelerate decarbonisation of the automotive sector and to help achieve net-zero emissions. A total of 49 projects will receive investments, coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Mitsubishi sets up UK support network for larger drives

Mitsubishi Electric UK is setting up a network of Drive Solutions Centres (DSCs) to support large-capacity low- and medium-voltage VSDs (variable-speed drives). Initial partners in the network include Total Automated Solutions in North Yorkshire, Lawrence Electrical Contractors in the East Midlands, Newton Tesla in Cheshire and Engineering Systems & Projects in East Anglia.

ABB opens UK drives workshop and moves support to Daresbury

ABB has opened a dedicated UK Drives Service Workshop (DSW) in Coalville, Leicestershire which, it says, will result in faster VSD repairs. The company has also has moved its VSD (variable-speed drive) customer services team from Aberdeen to its UK head office in Daresbury, Cheshire, with the aim of improving response times.