Technology

Friday Focus: UK Manufacturing Weekly News – 16/02/2019

Updated on Tuesday 19 March 2019, 8:52 PM 231 Views

We look back at the week’s news stories in a quick fire round-up of the top manufacturing stories that have happened in the last 7 days.

MTD’s business and manufacturing correspondent, Richard Jordan is joined by Paul Jones to discuss the recently published ‘Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018’ by the World Economic Forum which takes a snapshot of the global manufacturing sector and details where countries are ranked in terms of readiness for changes applicable to the sector. It takes into consideration things like disruptive technologies and Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth industrial revolution). You’ll be surprised to know where the United Kingdom ranks amongst the worlds manufacturing countries and where China could end up in the future.

Next on the agenda is the topic of Automated Warehouses which are traditionally labour-intensive and that moving forward, everything will be automated. This has been pioneered by Amazon whos advanced system of robots where every single item is at any given time. Will this potentially lead to job losses? We’ve heard it for decades, but are robots really beginning to “take over”?

Paul and Richard also discuss that business productivity is reportedly low in the United Kingdom. Professor Sir Cary Cooper, of Manchester Business School, is an American-born British psychologist who this week published a report explaining that the UK is suffering from low productivity due to things like bad management who within our sector are more “things oriented” when it comes to staff, which could be deflating the workers.

What else happened this week? Nissan Announced that they were no longer going to produce their X-Trail line of vehicles from their Sunderland plant, instead moving it to Japan where the car is already being manufactured for the Japanese market. Is Brexit to blame for the u-turn? No one knows for sure but the Japanese car manufacturer says it blames “Uncertainty over Brexit” and not Brexit itself. Paul and Richard discuss a valid argument over why it probably isn’t over Brexit itself.

We also heard this week that Airbus have decided to completely stop the production of the the world’s largest passenger airliner, the A380 which is so large that most airports have had to upgrade their facilities to accommodate it. Advancements in the technologies used to build new generation engines, such as the likes from Boeing, have been speculated as to the reason behind Airbus’s decision due to them allowing planes to one need two engines.

To close up the week’s news, Paul and Richard also discuss the latest with Brexit and Theresa May’s latest defeat in the house of

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