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Made in the Midlands weekly round up - 24/03/17

Posted on: Mar 24th

This week at Made in the Midlands, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence welcomed over 80 members to their technological premises in Telford, Shropshire. 

Made in the Midlands would like to thank Hexagon’s Jason James for his hospitality and also Brett Green for delivering a fantastic company presentation. You can find out more about Hexagon’s service offering here.

We also welcomed SMB Pressings Managing Director, Alec Proctor into the MIMTV studio. Alec discussed his thoughts on the living wage, investment in new laser cutting and press brake equipment. 

SD Products - the official UK distributor for Ketterer

SD Products are proud to announce the beginning of our official partnership with Ketterer – global specialists in mechanical and electromechanical drive solutions. Starting from the first of January 2017 SD Products Ltd has become the first official and exclusive Ketterer distributor in the UK.

For the past 25 years Ketterer have been making height adjustment mechanisms for office and workshop systems, as well as a wide variety of drive technology components, including motors and controls.

The continuous growth in demand in recent years made it necessary to renovate and expand at the company’s site in Furtwangen. The focus was not only on expanding the production area, but also in restructuring operations in order to increase productivity while reducing unit costs. The Furtwangen facility now has a workforce of 175 people.

An extensive range of Ketterer products is now available from SD Products. We are excited to be in business with Ketterer and we hope to have a long and successful relationship.

Patrons talk charity, energy, health and safety  

Last week, Jonathan Lee team members continued in its time honoured tradition of partaking in a charity fundraising netball match in aid of Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge.

A big thanks goes out to Jonathan Lee Recruitment Management team for covering the cost of the hall and to those who participated and raised £65 for Mary Stevens Hospice!

Additionally, Oliver Smith, Recruitment Consultant for Sub-Contract Engineering & Manufacturing at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, discusses how the 3D hobbyist could become an engineer of the future, a position supported by Ian Joesbury, CEO of Advanced Laser Technologyhere.

Furthermore, Control Energy Costs told members that Ofgem have announced that from 1st April 2018 the way Distribution Use Of System (DUOS) charges are levied and calculated will change.

Every distribution area across the UK will have different charges however for DNO 14 ( West Midlands) we have calculated the increased distribution costs for a typical manufacturing client to be:

Low Voltage Supply - 15% Increase

High Voltage Supply - 32% Increase

These charges make up a considerable amount of the invoice and as such need to be addressed properly and fully analysed. This is particularly relevant for Made In The Midlands members who are looking at new supply contracts as you will likely see a cost increase versus current contract but also energy brokers tend to not specialize in this much detail and may fabricate the true impact to you to get a supply contract signed.

Additionally, businesses in the West Midlands are being urged to conduct regular reviews of their health and safety policies in light of high profile cases that have seen organisations fined millions of pounds by Patrons, FBC Manby Bowdler here.

DURA promote best practice with ZF, Quarriers and Lander

Dura and ZF have agreed to promote best practice in manufacturing operations.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Dura get into another 1st tier supplier and see first-hand how they operate with an “access all areas” mandate. Both organisations are hoping that the exchange teams will coordinate the activity and report on Kaizen activity following the visit.

Dura Automotive also met with a non profit organisation based in Scotland called Quarriers.

Dura had a very positive day discussing culture, people & skills, and how to motivate teams to get the very best out of them as well as sharing ideas and experiences.

Furthermore, Dura & Lander met to discuss best practice in the world of Tier 1 automotive. It was a great day sharing ideas and experiences.

Universities talk events, best practice and apprentices

WMG, at the University of Warwick, has teamed up with its business partner, NatWest, to host a special manufacturing event at the bank’s prestigious Manufacturing Hub located at Wolverhampton Business Park on Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 11.30am - 2.00pm.

‘Why Innovation Matters’ is applicable to manufacturing SMEs based in the Black Country, who are seeking ways to grow, increase efficiency and become more competitive through innovation. You can register your ticket here.

The Black Country Skills Factory recently launched its first phase of fully funded bite-sized courses for your employees and they’re filling up fast!

The courses will be delivered by our ‘best practice’ local providers and are aimed at upskilling your employees to meet your specific skills needs. These bite sized courses of 2-3 hours, are fully funded by the European Social Fund at no charge to you or your business. Find out more here.

Aston University has been identified as a leader in degree apprenticeships by the head of skills of the Higher Education Funding Council for England at a recent Universities UK conference to inform universities of the opportunities related to degree apprenticeships.

Aston University was the first university in the country to offer degree apprenticeships. Its first cohort of degree apprentices will graduate in July this year.

Sasha Morgan-Manley, degree apprenticeship lead at Aston University, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses of all sizes to grow their talent from the inside. Whether they are looking to upskill existing staff or bring a new emerging talent into the organisation, apprenticeships ensure the learning delivered is directly applicable to the apprentices’ day-to-day role and so allows the apprentice to add direct value to the business straight away.

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