We have spent several decades in factories and seen a great deal of change during that time. Here are our recent observations on British manufacturing together with our thoughts on the opportunities and challenges they bring.
1) Data is huge
Whilst we work with electrical controls and integrating them into conveyor systems, the sheer breadth of electrical components now in manufacturing processes has given businesses more data than ever before. Dashboards, showing key management information, are something we see on most site visits. This constant reporting means problems are found quickly and can be dealt with.
2) A changing shift in the perception of AI
AI is very much becoming the norm in manufacturing and its presence is noticeably modernising manufacturing processes. Inventory management, supply chain management, predicting demand… it all uses AI now. AI is uniting entire supply chains and giving factories the ability to manufacture seamlessly. The fear that initially surrounded AI and its potential to take away jobs is lessening. In fact, seeing cobots working alongside human workforces to make processes slicker and safer is ever more common.
3) Predictive maintenance
This is a particular area of AI that interest PJP. Servicing and maintenance are essential to protecting hard-working equipment. And now AI is taking this idea to the next level with predictive maintenance systems helping companies nail the optimum time to replace parts: ensuring components use close to their maximum lifespan and minimising costly downtime caused by wear and tear.
4) Reduction in the workforce
Recruitment challenges are huge. The ‘great resignation’ we are still seeing has been caused by the perfect storm of low unemployment rates and high inflation in a post pandemic world where many workers are assessing their work-life balances. It’s a struggle to recruit skilled manufacturing engineers and workers – this is being compounded by many overseas workers now being painfully difficult to attract with new visa requirements.
5) Leaving the EU has created greater challenges
Manufacturing businesses buying from EU countries face increased paperwork, time and cost to get the items they need, and this has huge consequences for efficient manufacturing. When selling to overseas customers, mystical duty rates and resulting fines have left many manufacturers scratching their heads wondering just what is going on.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. We like to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to both manufacturing and warehousing. Automating processes with a new conveyor or maintaining existing machinery can be a game changer for manufacturers and we pride ourselves in finding solutions for our customers that provide impressive returns on investment.
Get in touch to see how we could help.