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Knowledge hubs focus on new tech

19 February 2024

Reversing UK manufacturing’s poor record for adopting new technology will be tackled head on at MACH 2024 as The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) launches its new Knowledge Hubs initiative

THE PROGRAMME showcases new technology that is readily available to UK manufacturers, helping them to understand the potential adopting such technology can bring to their operation, as well as when to adopt it and how to implement it to best effect.

The Knowledge Hubs initiative will have dedicated stands across the event, each focusing on a particular type of technology including Automation and Robotics, Sustainable Solutions, Additive Manufacturing, Consumable Tooling, and Data and Artificial Intelligence.

In recognition of the importance being placed on these hubs, each is being managed by one of the specialist centres from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, such as the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The Catapult network is recognised for the cutting-edge research and development work being conducted at its various centres. The network collaborates with thousands of innovative businesses across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, space, health, digital, energy, transport, telecoms, the urban environment and many others.

Greater adoption

The MTA, which organises the MACH event on behalf of the engineering-based manufacturing community, has been campaigning for greater adoption of new technology for some time. It will expand upon this at MACH 2024, which opens its doors at the NEC in Birmingham on 15th April, by explaining that implementing proven, readily available techniques in manufacturing processes is the fastest way to boost the UK’s output.

The need for this approach was recently brought into sharp focus in a new report highlighting the UK’s lack of investment in technology and its poor adoption of robotics in industry. The figures, from the International Federation of Robotics, showed the UK languishing outside the top 20 developed nations in terms of the global utilisation of industrial robots in manufacturing – lagging not just behind the economic superpowers, but also the likes of Spain and Finland.

The Automation and Robotics Knowledge Hub will showcase how easily the technology can be adopted into existing manufacturing operations, automating repeatable processes, improving accuracy and consistency, and reducing repetitive and monotonous tasks. 

The Sustainable Solutions Knowledge Hub, sponsored by Lloyds Bank, will guide manufacturers on how investing in energy efficient technology now, backed by government incentives, can help offset energy cost increases, improve business fitness for the future and help balance the ‘cost of doing business’.

Expert advice

The Additive Manufacturing Knowledge Hub is designed to help visitors looking to learn how to develop, adopt and use additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology in their manufacturing processes. Expert advice and wayfinding will be on offer from AM-UK on how to utilise the technology for making production parts and products directly from design data – building accurate components by adding layers of material to obtain the final shape with minimal waste.

The Consumable Tooling Knowledge Hub is where visitors should head to receive impartial advice on how to optimise their machining processes and how to deal with real-life machining challenges. The Hub will offer advice on matching the most suitable cutting tool material and insert geometry with the workpiece material to be machined, through to key considerations such as tool paths and cutting data.  Visitors can meet experts from the AMRC who will be on-hand to help visitors with the complexities of metal cutting.

The Data and AI Knowledge Hub will explore how SME’s can use this technology to drive growth and innovation in manufacturing by measuring the output of their current operation, looking for opportunities to improve and ensuring supply meets demand. The aim of the Knowledge Hub is to provide advice and wayfinding, addressing the manufacturing applications that can be supported by data, technology and automated processes. 


Key Points

  • MACH 2024's Knowledge Hubs initiative showcases new technology that is readily available to UK manufacturers
  • Implementing proven, readily available techniques in manufacturing processes is the fastest way to boost the UK’s output
  • Each Hub each is being managed by one of the specialist centres from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult