Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine Volume 425 - January 2016 - Page 43

BEST OF BRITISH MANUFACTURING AT ITS BEST Despite the renown dip in manufacturing since the 1970s, where UK manufacturing contributed approximately 25% of GDP, the UK still ranks second globally in the aerospace arena and has seen great prosperity in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. Manufacturing has always been something that the UK excels at, and this isn't likely to change any time soon. With manufacturing currently account for only a tenth of the British economy, one might think it a bleak picture for the UK manufacturing sector, however reports suggest that British factories are in fact in the midst of a resurgence. In a recent survey it was shown that the balance of manufacturers reporting a rise in domestic sales rose during the second quarter of the year to the highest degree since records actually began in 1989, showing great signs for the future of the industry. It is not, however simply an increase in the number of sales, but an overall change in the economic landscape for the UK manufacturing sector whereupon new markets and new arenas have been located by ingenious manufacturing companies. China, Russia and India have increasingly become more important in the UK exports market, with a great deal of work brought back home from some of the world's most prominent industrial emerging market powers such as China – something that has greatly assisted in supporting the market. So why is there a sudden surge in the mar- 4 ket? Sources suggest that it is the British reputation for productivity, efficiency and quality which has been opening up new opportunities in the market for reputable manufacturers such as for Future Advanced Manufacture, one of the companies spearheading Britain's manufacturing revival. Craig Peterson, Managing Director of Future AM commented: "We're getting enquiries all the time. Even though we're a little bit more expensive, with the cost of shipping (from China), lead time problems and the quality issues, we're seeing a lot work coming back now.” Toughened by the difficult economic times of late, manufacturers have now begun to claw back lost output and succeed once more. In addition, exports have also improved marginally for the sector and signs of this picking up even further have been recognised, with British manufacturing export order growth outpacing the world average for the 15th month on a row – an unmatched record since global records officially began in 1998. For the automotive industry, there are a number of “Made in Britain” household names which are all equally known for incredible quality, durability and reliability, including: MINI, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Lotus, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, MG and Vauxhall. Although many of these brands are indeed foreign-owned, there is a reason they are manufactured within the UK, one of the most reputable countries in the world for its solid design, production and quality assessment procedures. MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING MAGAZINE 41