Tibard, the manufacturer of workwear and uniform, is the latest company to support Made Smarter for new technologies. The Dukinfield-based provider of cooking and restaurant uniforms, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, has secured funding and support to help boost productivity and growth in the industry through its government-funded and industry-supported program to advance British manufacturing.
The Made Smarter North West pilot project supports SMEs in the introduction of digital tools and technologies to increase productivity and growth.
This support for local SMEs from the manufacturing sector includes competent, impartial advice and individual support as well as workshops on digital road mapping, with which manufacturers can take their first steps to transform their business. In addition, eight-month leadership and management training programs are offered in collaboration with Lancaster University as funded three-month student internships.
62 of the companies supported with specialized technology advice, including 13 in the Greater Manchester area, have also received funding. With this support forecast, an additional gross value added (GVA) of £ 52m will be generated for the economy in the northwest over the next three years.
SME applicants develop projects that use a range of industrial digital technologies, including data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 3D printing, and robotics to address business challenges solve a number of manufacturing functions.
"We have been very enthusiastic about the benefits of introducing new digital technologies that are mitigated by uncertainties about how to proceed," said Donna Edwards, program director of the Made Smarter North West pilot project (see picture).
“It is clear that SMEs need expert advice and insight to choose the right approach for their company, how much to invest and which technologies bring the greatest benefits. This is exactly how Made Smarter can and helps companies in the entire region. "
The £ 20m pilot program started in November 2018 and went into operation in January 2019. It runs until March 2021.
The Northwest pilot project is overseen by the Made Smarter Commission – a partnership between the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry (BEIS) and industry leaders.
Jürgen Maier, former CEO of Siemens and co-chair of the commission, said: “When we launched Made Smarter in November 2018, our goal was to start a new industrial revolution for manufacturing and make Britain the world leader in digital technology make technologies. Our job now is to scale this up and see what other regions can learn from the great work that is already being done here. "