The Future of Technology in Manufacturing 2019

On the 18th July HSO’s annual flagship manufacturing event took place at Renault Sport F1’s Technical Centre in Enstone, Oxfordshire. Featuring a world class venue, a packed guest list and a fantastic line-up of speakers comprising manufacturing industry experts, government and academia, The Future of Technology in Manufacturing 2019 was a resounding success.

First on the agenda was Henry Anson, Managing Director at The Manufacturer, who delivered an insightful overview of UK Manufacturing based on The Manufacturer’s Annual Manufacturing Report as well as his personal perspective gleaned from interaction with his extensive network of UK manufacturers.

The overall message was clear: despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the general outlook for UK manufacturing is still largely positive and 81% of manufacturers are now ready to invest in new technologies to boost productivity.

Following his presentation, Henry hosted an interactive Q&A session with Clare Porter, Head of Manufacturing at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who presented the government’s strategic vision for British manufacturing. Speaking with great passion, Clare covered a variety of topics including the Made Smarter initiative, Brexit and the manufacturing skills gap before opening the floor for questions from an engaged audience.

Despite Industry 4.0 now being more than just a buzzword and increased demand in technologies such as robotics, automation and virtual reality, Clare stressed that “more people are needed to show what the art of the possible is with regards to digital manufacturing”.

Next up was Sir Mike Gregory, Professor Emeritus at Cambridge University, who used his extensive knowledge of manufacturing to illustrate the past, present and future outlook for UK manufacturing, highlighting in particular the technologies and implications underpinning industrial digitalisation.

Discussing the barriers to digitalisation, Sir Mike said: “You can’t just turn on a switch and it all happens. If we’re going to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies, then we will have to understand better how to break down the barriers”.

In his closing summary, Sir Mike discussed the need for manufacturing innovation to be accelerated through connectivity and support, points which were picked up again by Pete Sharpe, Enterprise Architect at HSO, in his presentation on Microsoft’s road map for the year ahead which covered Microsoft’s intelligent manufacturing solutions including Dynamics 365, Azure IoT and Hololens.

Pete highlighted how these solutions enable manufacturers to drive business transformation in the Industry 4.0 era through digital technology—enhancing digital factories, monetising connected products, and creating intelligent value chains.

Following a break for lunch and networking, Tracey Roberts, Senior Solution Consultant at HSO, went into the technical detail in her much-anticipated demonstration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 highlighting the platforms comprehensive capabilities for manufacturing which was well received by an inquisitive audience.

Bringing the demo to life, Luca Mazzocco, Head of Partner Management at Renault Sport Formula One, followed with his presentation on the Renault Sport F1 story. Summing up Renault Sport’s motto as “do more with less”, Luca outlined the design and manufacturing challenges in Formula One and the role of digital transformation in achieving race success.

Click here for more information on how Microsoft Dynamics 365, Azure Machine Learning and Power BI are supporting Renault Sport F1 to build an even faster race car.

Finally, the day closed with an exclusive guided tour which gave delegates a unique insight into the technology and impressive manufacturing facilities behind the scenes at Formula One.

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