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Made in the Midlands are thrilled to announce that we have selected four finalists to contend for this year’s Young Inventor Award, following a series of panelled presentations from a variety of colleges and training academies.
We can confirm that Matt Taylor, Andrzej Zubczyk, Chelsey Davies and Conner Notley are our four finalists. The overall winner is set to be revealed on Thursday 19th October at the Made in the Midlands Awards at Lilleshall National Sports & Conferencing Centre.
Made in the Midlands visited Central College Nottingham, Derby College, Dudley Advance and In-Comm Training to give young people an opportunity to present their innovative ideas to a panel of experts from Midlands industry.
Joint Managing Director of O.L.D. Engineering, Don Doman stated: “It really was my pleasure to be able to be involved in this event and I was very impressed by the professionalism of both the students and In-Comm staff. All four students put forward excellent innovation ideas and, in some ways, it was a shame there could only be one recognised winner.”
In-Comm Training has announced it is going ahead with a £1.5m extension that will more than triple the size of its facility in Aldridge.
The Black Country training specialist has joined forces with workholding specialist Hyfore to develop an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre next door to its current site in Vigo Place.
Backed by the Black Country LEP’s Growth Deal, the ambitious plan will create an additional 16,000 sq ft of space that will be fitted out with world class CNC machine tools, automation and a robotics line, fluid power stations and a dedicated electrical and electronics section.
Gareth Jones, Managing Director of In-Comm Training, commented: “Things are happening to bridge the skills gap, but not many firms have thought about the competency gap and that involves looking at equipping firms in the West Midlands with the technical and advanced skills they need to make the most of global opportunities.
“This extension, which gives us a combined space of 21,000 sq ft, will address this issue and create a world class training hub that will provide an additional 420 Apprenticeship Trailblazer places between now and 2022. We will also aim to provide over 1200 upskilling courses in prototyping, R&D, operational excellence and data analysis.”
Non Destructive Testing specialists NDT Midlands have invested £120,000 in a new x-ray facility and a further £18,000 in the latest Bruker positive material identification (PMI) gun, with the ultimate goal of diversifying into the aerospace sector.
The company provide a non destructive testing service for the UK engineering and manufacturing industry. NDT already support a variety of industry sectors including: Fastener, Engineering, Oil/Petrochemical, Power & Energy, Automotive, Construction and Defence.
NDT’s Managing Director, Stewart Dudwell explained: “We have invested in a new x-ray facility, as we already do a lot of dye penetrant testing that is applicable to the aerospace market. We are creating a one stop shop for potential customers and we expect that these new capabilities will perfectly compliment our existing setup. The new Bruker PMI gun for example will help us to trouble sort if there is a mix in the material that we are testing. We can also verify the correct material on anything purchased abroad.”
One of the West Midlands fastest growing manufacturers threw open its doors last week in a bid to recruit new staff.
PP Control & Automation, which has seen sales rise to £20m this year, hosted its first ever Career Open Days to give individuals considering a career in industry the chance to see what opportunities there are to progress in the sector.
School leavers, people looking to change professions or those wanting to get back into manufacturing attended one of the 2-hour slots that included a guided tour of the firm’s world class 40,000 sq ft facility in Cheslyn Hay, the chance to speak with current employees and an overview of current vacancies.
Philip Newell, Training and Continuous Improvement Manager at PP Control & Automation, commented: “The last twelve months have been very good for our business and we have won a lot of new outsourcing contracts both at home and abroad.
“In order to cope with this increase in demand, we need to boost the workforce and are looking to create up to 30 new jobs and these range from apprentices and shop floor technicians, to logistics specialists and project managers.”
Birmingham based Sorion Electronics, who supply electronic engineering services to the automotive and manufacturing industries, has recognised their Operations Director by offering him a 10 per cent shareholding in the company.
Rob Horton joined Sorion in 2014 as Operations Manager, and brought with him a wealth of experience having held key positions in a technical and computing book company, including sales manager and logistics manager.
Rob became Sorion’s Operations Director and was awarded a place on the Board in September 2016. Rob Horton commented: “Sorion is undergoing extensive development and has been growing year-on-year for the past five years. As Operations Director, I strive for operational excellence through ensuring we have efficient work practices and well trained, motivated and customer focused staff able to continually meet growing demand whilst improving upon quality.”
“The decision to invest and become a part-owner in such a progressive company was relatively straightforward as Sorion has a clear roadmap to deliver future growth. I’m truly proud to be a shareholder of Sorion Electronics.”