Automotive News – Late April 2021

UK car production rises on anniversary of pandemic-driven factory shuttering March UK car output grows 46.6% against Covid hit 2020 when pandemic forced factories to close. Monthly performance down -22.8% on five-year March average and Q1 down -4.0% year-on-year. Companies continue to wrestle with global supply chain issues, impact of new EU trading arrangements and Covid recovery at home and abroad. New SMMT member survey reveals nine-in-ten companies expending additional resource managing UK/EU trade requirements with six-in-ten large firms expecting Covid ... Read more

General Industrial News – Early April 2021

House builders have been boosted by large infrastructure projects and the stamp duty holiday for some homes. The UK’s construction industry has grown at its fastest monthly rate in more than six years, as house builds soared in March and paused projects were restarted. According to a closely followed survey, the sector has accelerated since February and created more jobs than at any point in more than two years. The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rates different sectors of the economy by surveying ... Read more

Rail News – Early April 2021

Toyota Motor Europe has secured a contract to supply fuel cell modules for a train project as a member of the Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications (FCH2RAIL) consortium. The consortium partners, including Belgium, Germany, Spain and Portugal, are developing and testing a new zero-emission train prototype. Toyota Motor will be responsible for the supply and integration of fuel cell modules into the prototype as part of the FCH2RAIL project. The core part of the FCH2RAIL project features a hybrid, bi-modal drive ... Read more

Defence News – Early April 2021

BAE Systems has revealed that the supply chain for the Dreadnought submarine programme supports almost 30,000 jobs and includes 1,500 UK companies. While nearly half of these jobs reside in the North West of England, the supply chain for Dreadnought extends to every region of the UK. Working with partners Rolls-Royce and the Submarine Delivery Agency as part of the Dreadnought Alliance, BAE Systems estimates it will spend in the region of £7.5 billion with 1,500 supply chain companies over the life ... Read more

Power Generation News – Early April 2021

Plans have been submitted for a major "green hydrogen" scheme near Glasgow. The application by ScottishPower includes a 20MW electrolyser, a device which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using electrical energy - in this case, via wind and solar power. The planned facility will be located near the UK's largest onshore wind farm, Whitelee, owned by ScottishPower. The project includes a combined solar and battery energy storage scheme to help power the electrolyser.  ScottishPower said the facility would be able to produce up ... Read more

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 ... Read more

Aerospace News – Early April 2021

Airbus has picked up the pace for aircraft deliveries in March. The European aircraft manufacturer delivered a total of 72 aircraft to a range of airlines from Aer Lingus to Wizz Air UK. Most airlines only took one plane this month, with only nine customers taking three or more aircraft. Both of the world’s major aircraft manufacturers saw a decrease in demand for new aircraft deliveries in 2020. This was due to many airlines having to ground most of their fleets. After ... Read more

Automotive News – Early April 2021

Jaguar Land Rover sold 123,483 vehicles in its fourth quarter, 12.4% more than the same time last year, although total sales for the year were 13.6% lower. The luxury car maker, which has manufacturing sites in Halewood, Merseyside, and Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands, revealed its China sales were up 127% compared with a year ago when that market was heavily impacted by COVID-19. Sales in North America were also up year-on-year by 10.4%, while other regions remain lower than ... Read more

Steel News – Late March 2021

British Steel investing £100m this year to improve manufacturing and environmental performance British Steel has announced it is investing £100m this year to support the next stage of its transformation. The company, which has returned to profit after being brought out of liquidation by Jingye Group 12 months ago, will focus the investment on improving its manufacturing operations and supporting clean growth. Projects the money will help finance include a new billet caster, a scrap pre-heating facility, cranes and a new environmental emission control ... Read more

Robotics & Automation News – Late March 2021

FAUNC has launched its new digital service FAR (FANUC Assisted Reality) in the UK, which provides quicker response times for maintenance issues on FANUC products. FAR is an app that uses augmented reality to facilitate remote support for FANUC customers. It allows service engineers to identify problems via real-time video and overlaid digital content, which ensures the correct spare parts and tools can be determined during the initial call. It also helps to improve the planning of service visits, owing to optimised ... Read more
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