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Welsh manufacturing sector still missing out on advancements in tech

SMEs in the Welsh manufacturing sector could be missing out on the technologies and systems that are helping benefit bigger employers in the industry.

[aoa id=”1″]An event being staged by Cardiff University and NatWest Cymru this week will aim to help these businesses understand the benefits of recent advances in Smart Manufacturing technologies and business systems, which in turn give them the opportunity to significantly improve their efficiency and output.[/aoa]

Wales boasts a diverse manufacturing sector and NatWest Cymru says it is important the SMEs within it are given the understanding and support they need to profit from advances such as artificial intelligence and data exchange.

Smart Manufacturing, including technological advancements in advanced automation and robotics, internet connectivity and big data processing (sometimes collectively referred to as Industry 4.0) is rapidly becoming fundamental to manufacturing businesses.

The use of new computer technologies and advanced information systems is enabling firms to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility and resilience in their operations through for example, advanced forecasting techniques to facilitate improved manufacturing operations and more efficient supply chain management. Furthermore, when such technologically led advances are complemented by smarter ways of working, e.g. smart supply chain integration, the benefits to businesses can be enormous.

The event, entitled Is Smart manufacturing for SMES? takes place on October 3 and will feature talks by representatives from Industry Wales, NatWest, Cardiff University and the Welsh Government, as well as a Q&A with Newport-based Shine Food Machinery who have benefited from Cardiff University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme. Areas for discussion will include artificial intelligence, Smart Manufacturing, forecasting and smart supply chain management.

Adrian Coles, NatWest Cymru Relationship Director, Corporate and Commercial Coverage, South East Wales, said:

“Wales is home to a thriving eco-system of manufacturing SME businesses, yet understandably many of these companies see advancements such as automation and AI technologies as being only relevant to much bigger, global employers. The reality is that these evolutions in technology are relevant and available to SME businesses in Wales and this event will help them understand the benefits they can bring and in turn how they can access them.”

Andrew Hopkins, Strategic Technology Manager at Cardiff University, said:

“We very much welcome working collaboratively with industry on a confidential basis.

“When both parties contribute to the research effort, this generates significant increases in knowledge for all involved. The business will apply this research to improve their performance and Cardiff University gain valuable applied research knowledge to inform future projects.”

Is SMART manufacturing for SMEs? takes place on October 3, 11.45 to 14.30, at the Cardiff University Business School. For more information including booking details, email [email protected]. You do not need to be a NatWest customer to attend this event.