News - F1 Manufacturing

Where metal works…

0116 268 8484
info@f1manufacturing.com

Manufacturers advised to grasp digital manufacturing possibilities

car productionAt a conference by the Manufacturing Technology Centre, a group of industry leaders across Europe have strongly advised that the UK make use of the opportunities presented by implementing the latest digital technology in factories.

Advancements in technology have meant that digital is transforming everyday manufacturing on a global scale. Using digital technology changes the very nature of how tasks are completed, no matter how their scale. The benefits can include higher precision and speed and it is for these reasons that industry leaders say that companies need to invest in automation to reap the benefits and unlock the full potential.

The Digitising Manufacturing 2016 event aims to mobilise the industry and embrace technology changes to drive the digitisation of the UK manufacturing sector.

Professor Ken Young, MTC technology director said: “The pace of change and innovation is increasing and the digitising of the manufacturing sector is going to have an impact on everybody. However, I am impressed by the distance travelled since the 2015 conference which is a great sign of things to come.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), too, has called for digital manufacturing growth over the next two decades. Their report highlights the benefits of digital manufacturing to the automotive industry specifically and claiming a £74bn gain to the wider UK economy by 2035.

Progression needs to be implemented and technology needs to be embraced to keep the UK as a major manufacturing location.

F1 Manufacturing continue to embrace technologies that help to ensure the best end product for our clients. 2016 has seen great advancements and we look forward to seeing what technology is created in 2017 to help with the manufacturing process.

We have been producing and manufacturing high quality metal components in the Midlands for over 25 years. To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with F1 Manufacturing, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

New research hubs announced to strengthen UK manufacturing

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) has announced funding for setting up six new £10 million research hubs.

EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. The agency invests more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects. The £60m funding in research hubs will explore and improve manufacturing techniques across a range of fields in the industry including 3D printing, composite materials and biological medicines.

Hubs will utilise the expertise of 17 universities and 200 industrial academic partners to advance the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and improve innovation. Each hub will have a different focus of research. The most relevant to us will be The Future Composites Manufacturing Hub led by the University of Nottingham.

The Nottingham research hub will strive to develop automated manufacturing technologies that deliver components and structures for applications, including aerospace, transportation, construction and energy sectors.

Announcing this major investment in the UK’s manufacturing research base, Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Developing new innovative manufacturing techniques will help UK industry create new products, explore more business opportunities and ensure the UK becomes more competitive and productive.”

It’s reassuring to see investment into researching how the manufacturing industry can better itself. Over the last few months, manufacturing in the UK has been performing well and it’s important to continue moving forward. We’re looking forward to seeing what ideas these research hubs present.

F1 Manufacturing has been producing and manufacturing high quality metal components in the Midlands for clients in a number of different sectors for over 25 years. Our services include metal folding, welding, laser cutting and finishing.

To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with a British manufacturing company, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

2016 finishes on a high for UK manufacturing

Manufacturing reaches 8 month highUK manufacturing saw a significant improvement in the final quarter of 2016. The latest survey by EEF and BDO LLP found that there was an increase in both output and orders within the industry.

The survey cites that output volumes had a substantial growth: the balance of companies reporting growth rose from -7 per cent in Q3 to +13 per cent – the first time that the overall balance has been in the positive since the second quarter of 2015. The figures are safely into the positive, too.

Order numbers also saw a great rise, up to +13 per cent from -4 per cent in Q3 – the first time in five quarters that the orders have been in the positive. The figures are expected to increase even further in Q1 of 2017 as prospects in export markets will increase.

The more positive outlook is being attributed to a range of factors including the strength and resilience of the UK market.

“This is the most upbeat reading on the state of manufacturing we’ve seen for some 18 months and signals the start of brightening conditions, which had been briefly knocked off course following the referendum,” commented EEF chief economist Lee Hopley.

The EEF/BDO Manufacturing Outlook 2016 Q4 report is available to view here

What’s instore for 2017?

Despite the improvement in performance, Brexit related risks still remain. Because of this, the EEF is still forecasting that UK manufacturing will contract in 2017. However, following these recent findings, the manufacturers’ organisation has revised its forecasts for next year. EEF now expect manufacturing to contract by -0.2 per cent in 2017, up from the -0.7 per cent previously stated.

The metal sector makes up a strong part of the industry. We are sheet metal specialists based in Leicester that have been producing high-quality metal components in the Midlands for over 25 years.

To find out about the range of services F1 Manufacturing offer, call us on 0116 268 8484.

 

Robotics and the future of manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is continually evolving and transforming, especially in recent years. Technology is improving at a rate that is faster than ever before. This technology is now making its way into most industries, including manufacturing.

The most exciting of these emerging technologies, within manufacturing at least, is perhaps the use of automated robotics. But as the attention of the industry is drawn to automation, robotics, sensors and the internet of things, it’s important to remember that human skill is, and will always be, essential. Joining these two forces is key to the success of their implementation in the work environment.

Joining the humans and technology

The human touch should play an important role in the usability and design of these machines. The two need to be integrated for the greater good of the industry. While the technologies can improve productivity, the quality and skills of the team enables differentiation.

When the new technologies are implemented, there needs to be an introduction for the team, operator training, and other plans to enhance people’s willingness to learn. Doing so will increase acceptance, a vital part in achieving success.

There is no questioning that the manufacturing workplace will look much different in ten years’ time than what it does now. However, how it will look remains a mystery. Whatever the technologies or developments, though, enabling a human touch and using the skills of the workforce is crucial. A human/robot design can take the strengths from each to create a system that greatens UK manufacturing.

F1 Manufacturing embrace the latest technologies that ensure we offer the best end product for our clients. We have been producing and manufacturing high quality metal components in the Midlands for over 25 years.

To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with F1 Manufacturing, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

Augmented reality in manufacturing

buildings augmented reality manufacturingSheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), a UK manufacturing research group, has become one of the first organisations to get a delivery of Microsoft’s new HoloLens technology.

The research group will build on work carried out by AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG) into using augmented and virtual reality in manufacturing. They will look into how the technology can be used in the manufacturing industry and how it can benefit the manufacturing process.

The HoloLens technology is a wearable holographic computer that can be used for augmented reality applications. The acquisition of the product will give IMG increased expertise in the field of Mixed Reality (MR).

Augmented Reality (AR) creates a live direct or indirect view of the real world and augments it with computer-generated input. MR allows users to see as well as move 3D holographic in the real world.

There are many uses of the technology, including showing clients how the finished product will look before doing the task for real. IMG recently showed delegates how they could move a full sized holographic image of a robot around its building and put the robot through its paces.

Manufacturing is not standing still. Innovations that enhance processes are frequent, and there are many technologies that are changing the industry.

F1 Manufacturing embrace the latest technologies to ensure that we offer the best end product for our clients. We look forward to seeing how augmented reality can be used in the industry.

We have been producing and manufacturing high quality metal components in the Midlands for over 25 years. To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with F1 Manufacturing, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

Order books on the rise

yellow robots welding cars in a production line

In November, UK manufacturers revealed their strongest performing order books since Brexit. They are also the most confident they have been in terms of future performance for close to two years, a new industry survey has shown.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that the monthly industrial orders balance rose from -17 in October to -3 in November (economists had predicted an improvement to around -9), but orders surpassed expectations and reached their highest level since June.

The survey of 430 manufacturers also found that export orders, which have been performing strongly following Brexit, fell to -11 from -6, still above average. However, there is still much positivity, and output expectation amongst manufacturers for the next three months rose to +24 from +13. Production levels have been predicted to rise at their fastest pace in almost two years in the next three months.

“It’s good to see manufacturers’ overall order books at healthy levels and the outlook for output growth remaining robust as we head into Christmas,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI’s chief economist.

Since Brexit, Britain’s economy has coped better than almost all reports predicted. For manufacturing, the latest reports and surveys suggest that the industry will be ending the year on a high.

F1 Manufacturing has been producing and manufacturing high-quality metal components in the Midlands for over 25 years. We offer a range of services and work in a number of different sectors.

To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with a British manufacturing company, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

How effective are your POP displays?

POS POP displaysPoint of sale (POS) and point of purchase (POP) displays are essential for retailers looking to attract customers to promotions, deals and new product lines. They are effective for a range of products and can be designed specifically for a particular item.

Despite the rise in online shopping, a trip to brick-and-mortar stores remains the most popular way to shop. With so much competition in retail stores it can be difficult to get the customer’s attention. A POP display is crucial to stand out and inspire impulse buys or a brand switch.

Here are some ways to get the best out of a POP display:

Choose the right material

It is common for brands to choose the least expensive route to produce a POP display. This results in a low-standard display with a short lifecycle. Displays made with quality and durable materials can withstand transportation, cleaning and in-store contact.

The appearance of the display also has a knock-on effect on the perceived quality of the product. A well-designed POP display will reflect a perception of the same quality to the associated product.

Target the right customer

Your display needs to be designed to match your target customers. With all design decisions, the target audience should be at the forefront of the mind, whether it’s the colour, text, layout or graphics. It is beneficial to understand your audience’s likes, dislikes and preferences, and then create your display accordingly.

Track display execution

It can be difficult to determine if an in-store display has been executed properly if it is present in a number of retailers. An amount of trust is put in each retailer’s ability to install the POP display correctly.  Brands need to oversee in-store efforts by having transparency with each retailer throughout the entire project, from when it is installed to when it’s removed.

F1 Manufacturing have been well known as specialists in the supply of point of sale and point of purchase equipment for many years. We have worked on projects of various sizes involving a wide range of products. Here is an example of our work for a well-known sports brand.

Our engineering design team work closely with you to make your ideas into fully realised plans, and then provide you with a prototype, allowing you to see and approve your product before it is manufactured.

To speak to us about your POS/POP requirements, call us today on 0116 268 8484.

 

Ending the year strongly

Manufacturing reaches 8 month highThe latest facts and figures show that the manufacturing industry in the UK is ending 2016 on a high.

The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has shown that there have been upturns in output, new orders and employment, thus showing signs that the industry is finishing the year strongly despite economic uncertainty throughout 2016.

In October, the industry scored 54.3 – slightly down on September’s 55.5, although well above the long-term average of 51.5. The Markit/CIPS PMI shows that new order volumes remained strong for the third consecutive month, with healthy demand coming from both domestic and export clients.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, commented: “Manufacturing indicators have stabilised following the sharp movements seen in the weeks after the referendum, while production levels and new order intake across the sector continue to expand at a reasonably healthy clip.”

The positives are also seen in the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures. According to the ONS, output from manufacturers rose by 0.6 per cent last month, up from 0.2 per cent in August and a 0.9 per cent fall in July.

It is hoped that 2017 will bring the opportunity for the industry to show its ability to grow rather than show its resilience against external factors.

F1 Manufacturing is a sheet metal specialist based in Leicester. We have been producing and manufacturing high-quality metal components in the Midlands, for clients in a number of different sectors, for over 25 years. Our services include metal foldingweldinglaser cutting and finishing.

To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with a British manufacturing company, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

Is UK manufacturing turning a corner?

Production in the UKOver the past few months, there has been a degree of uncertainty circling the manufacturing sector. But as ever, the industry seems to be remaining strong and now looks to be overcoming the initial post-Brexit drop.

The monthly Confederation for British Industry (CBI) survey has created a sense of optimism that British manufacturing will remain healthy through the uncertainty of Brexit. Findings show that manufacturers have enjoyed rising outputs and a steady amount of new orders over the past three months. It also found that expectations for the next three months have picked up.

The buoyant tone was echoed by the 481 manufacturers surveyed who felt like activity had rebounded since the drop that occurred immediately after the referendum.

The survey provided a collective view of manufacturers’ moods, order books and output levels. The round balance showed that the order books balance was held at -5 per cent, well above the running average of -15 per cent. Export orders, which are still strong, were not as impressive as the two-year export high shown in August.

There are still plenty of challenges ahead as we adjust to a new relationship with the EU and the rest of the world.

F1 Manufacturing is a sheet metal specialist based in Leicester. We have been producing and manufacturing high-quality metal components in the Midlands for clients in a number of different sectors for over 25 years. Our services include metal folding, welding, laser cutting and finishing.

To find out more about the financial and logistical advantages of working with a British manufacturing company, contact us on 0116 268 8484.

 

Benefits of using metal for architecture

benefits of uding metal for architectureArchitects, designers and contractors have used metal above many other options for a number of years; it is energy efficient, low maintenance and durable. The material’s other attributes such as its clean look and visual appeal has led metal to become the material of choice for a range of purposes.

Here are some of the main benefits of using metal for architecture :

Versatility

By using metal, architects can achieve virtually any look that they have envisaged because of its flexibility and variety of finishes. Architects and designers like metal’s ability to meet their artistic imaginations, while still providing the ability to design a structure that is both safe and resilient.

Economical

The decreased construction times associated with metal mean that savings are made on labour time. Savings can also come from the material’s longevity:

  • Its durability means that little maintenance, repairs and replacements are required.
  • Metal structures are known to be more resilient in the worst of weather conditions e.g. high winds and heavy snow. Insurance companies often offer a lower premium for metal buildings/structures.
  • Better lifecycle; in general, metal construction has a life of around 40 years.

Sustainability

Almost all metals are recyclable. 80 million tonnes of steel is recycled each year, making it the world’s most recycled product. This recyclability, combined with its energy efficiency qualities make metal a very sustainable option.

We have experience in both large and small scale architectural metalwork production. Whilst volume production of components is a well-known part of the business, F1 Manufacturing also has the in-house capability to manufacture large structures.

Our services have been used to create metal structures including spiral staircases, internal office balconies, entrance canopies for hotels and balustrades for apartments.

To find out more about our architectural metalwork services and how we can fulfil your requirements, call 0116 268 8484 today.

 

1 2 3 10