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Is Welsh manufacturing missing out?

27 September 2018

Close up of computer chips

SMEs in the Welsh manufacturing sector could make significant improvements to their efficiency and output by using the technologies and business systems that benefit larger organisations in the industry.

A Cardiff University and NatWest Cymru event next month will help businesses from Wales’ diverse manufacturing sector understand the benefits of recent advances in Smart Manufacturing so that they too can profit from the application of things like artificial intelligence and data exchange.

Smart Manufacturing, including technological advancements in advanced automation and robotics, internet connectivity and big data processing, sometimes collectively referred to as Industry 4.0, is rapidly becoming fundamental to manufacturing businesses.

Efficiency, flexibility and resilience

The use of new computer technologies and advanced information systems is enabling firms to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility and resilience in their operations.

Examples include, advanced forecasting techniques to facilitate improved manufacturing operations and more efficient supply chain management.

When technologically-led advances of this kind are complemented by smarter ways of working the benefits to businesses can be enormous.

The event, entitled Is Smart manufacturing for SMES? takes place on October 3 and will feature talks by representatives from Industry Wales, NatWest, Cardiff University and the Welsh Government.

A Q&A with Newport-based Shine Food Machinery who have benefited from Cardiff University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme will follow.

Circle made of amber light

Let IT Shine

Knowledge Transfer Partnership to aid business growth

Areas for discussion will include artificial intelligence, Smart Manufacturing, forecasting and smart supply chain management.

A thriving ecosystem

Adrian Coles, NatWest Cymru Relationship Director, Corporate and Commercial Coverage, South East Wales, said: “Wales is home to a thriving eco-system of manufacturing SME businesses, yet understandably many of these companies see advancements such as automation and AI technologies as being only relevant to much bigger, global employers...”

“In reality these evolutions in technology are relevant and available to SME businesses in Wales and this event will help them understand the benefits they can bring and in turn how they can access them.”

Adrian Coles NatWest Cymru Relationship Director

Andrew Hopkins, Strategic Technology Manager at Cardiff University, added: “We very much welcome working collaboratively with industry on a confidential basis...”

“When both parties contribute to the research effort, this generates significant increases in knowledge for all involved.”

Andrew Hopkins Strategic Technology Manager

“The business will apply this research to improve their performance and Cardiff University gain valuable applied research knowledge to inform future projects.”

To attend ‘Is SMART manufacturing for SMEs?’ on 3 October 2018 at Cardiff Business School contact Adrian Coles.

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