Manufacturing News – Late January 2021

The latest Contract Manufacturing Index showed that the subcontracting market was down 46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 compared to the previous quarter. Year on year though the market barely moved, ending 2021 1% high than it ended 2020. Those figures, though, conceal a volatile 12 months. A strong start to the year was followed by a dramatic fall at the start of the March lockdown. A strong recovery followed in the summer, with activity falling back again from September. The CMI ... Read more

Automotive News – Late January 2021

UK car production declined -29.3% in 2020, to 920,928 units, according to the latest figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).  December, output was down -2.3% to 71,403, with some firms affected by border closures and thus component supply issues. This rounded off a dreadful year, the worst since 1984 for UK car makers, with the pandemic chiefly responsible for the decline. Manufacturing operations were severely disrupted throughout 2020, with lockdowns and social distancing measures restricting factory ... Read more

Mining News – Early January 2021

Mining giant Anglo American, which is responsible for the Woodsmith polyhalite mine development on the North Yorkshire coast, has unveiled a huge increase in planned spending on the project. Chief executive, Mark Cutifani, says the company will invest half a billion dollars (£375m) in the project in 2021, an increase on the $300m (£225m) it had previously committed to spending. After 35 years of highs and lows, production is finally under way at Scotland's first commercial gold mine. The journey has been fraught ... Read more

Railway News – Early January 2021

Improving rail links between cities in the North and Midlands should be the first priority of a new approach to end stop-start investments and help level up the UK as part of a wider economic strategy, according to a major new report by the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission was asked by the Prime Minister in February this year to undertake an assessment of proposed major rail schemes to help inform the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan. The Commission’s report, published mid-December, highlights the ... Read more

General Industrial News – Early January 2021

Plans have been approved for a plant to recycle waste construction and demolition waste in Salford. The process will create materials which will be used to build a multi-modal freight facility and distribution park at Port Salford and other construction sites across Greater Manchester. Salford City Council’s planning committee has approved plans for the Peel L&P Environmental facility which will based at Peel L&P’s Port Salford development off the A57 Liverpool Road in Eccles. It will house a waste soil wash plant capable of ... Read more

Power Generation News – Early January 2021

Clean fuel and energy storage business, ITM Power, says manufacturing of electrolysers has started at its first “Gigafactory” at Bessemer Park in Sheffield. The fit out of the 1GW (1,000MW) per annum facility has now reached practical completion, having suffered only a minor delay due to the pandemic. ITM Power’s completed fit out includes an expansion of the existing offices, enlargement of the stack manufacturing and production areas and a dedicated space for factory acceptance testing of products. The Gigafactory houses a 24-hour remote ... Read more

Manufacturing News – Early January 2021

A South Yorkshire-based steel company is pumping more than £60m into its operations in order to double its production. LIBERTY Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, has committed to a programme of new investments at its GREENSTEEL production hub in Rotherham to supply the transport, defence, and construction sectors. This forms part of the UK Government’s “Build Back Better” plan. The business says the money will remove production bottlenecks at its electric arc furnace (N-Furnace) and small bloom caster in Rotherham, helping it increase ... Read more

Automotive News – Early January 2021

Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover marked the end of 2020 with a second successive quarter-on-quarter recovery in sales, despite the continuing impact of COVID-19. The group, which builds cars at sites in Halewood, Merseyside, and Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands, said retail sales for the quarter, ending December 31, 2020, were 128,469 vehicles, 13.1% higher than the 113,569 vehicles sold in the preceding quarter, but down nine per cent on the same period last year. China sales were particularly ... Read more

GTMA – New Supply Chain Solutions Magazine now online

The GTMA are very pleased to announce that Issue 14 of the Supply Chain Solutions Magazine is now available to be read online. Please go to The message throughout this Supply Chain Magazine represents the positive response from companies who have demonstrated how agile and adaptable they are to new challenges: 100 Companies join medical cluster RESHORING is working Rail cluster on track The measurement specialists Another look at AM Read more

KTN share Useful Guide when taking Products to Market

  “Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey: A Guidebook” has been created to assist you (and those you work with) as you take physical products to market. It consolidates learning from the 12-week online webinar series we ran over the summer lockdown, in partnership with Product Design Scotland. The guide will help your business prepare for the journey from Design to Manufacture. Technology market analysis by CB Insights (2019) found that 97% of start-up companies developing innovative ‘hardware’ fail (i.e. those developing physical products that ... Read more
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