Manufacturing News – Early April 2021

The UK market for subcontract manufacturing continued its recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic with a 25% increase on the previous quarter.

The latest Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) stood at 84 for the first quarter of 2021 (Q1) compared to 67 for the final three months of last year. The quarter started well, with January and February far better than any month in the previous quarter, but fell back in March.

The baseline for the index is 100, which represents the average size of the subcontract manufacturing market between 2014 and 2018.

A cross-section of subcontracting companies report that UK manufacturing is emerging from lockdown with exceptionally strong sales pipelines.

The positive outlook is leading many to accelerated investment plans and conversely, leading to increasing concerns about the robustness of supply chains and skills availability.

Almost a quarter (22.6%) of UK manufacturers are planning to boost their investments as a direct response to the “super-deduction” tax that chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his recent Budget, with more than a quarter (28.1%) more saying they will bring forward their investment plans. But, according to a new survey by the manufacturers’ organisation, Make UK, just under half of companies (48.6%) do not expect to make any changes to their investment plans as a result of the new tax, or say that their plans are too rigid to change.

The super-deduction tax relief, announced in the Spring 2021 budget, works alongside the Annual Investment Allowance to provide 130% relief to eligible investments in plant and machinery. According to the Make UK survey of 149 manufacturers – published in a new Manufacturing Monitor – almost a third (32.4%) regard the tax relief as the Budget measure that will have the biggest impact on their businesses, followed by the decisions to extend the furlough scheme (23.2%) and to boost R&D (21.2%).

Wall Colmonoy has fully installed the first Desktop Metal Shop System in the UK.

Using Desktop Metal’s innovative binder-jet technology and generations of its materials expertise, Wall Colmonoy can now offer affordable and fast metal 3D printing of small to medium parts.

The Desktop Metal Shop System complements the offerings of Wall Colmonoy’s Precision Components business. This division, based in Wales, encompasses a 23,500ft2 modern machining facility and 19,000ft2 casting foundry, with 50 years of casting experience in wear-resistant alloys.

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