Editor’s comment for July 2020

Yorkshire Precision 20072020
Yorkshire Precision 20072020

As is often the case when things go a bit pear-shaped, UK manufacturing emerges from the shadows, steps up to the plate, rolls up its sleeves and gets on with the job in hand.

Because while the UK may not be the manufacturing powerhouse it once was, it’s still an unrelenting driving force that underpins the economy – pushing the technological boundaries of today and developing the innovations of tomorrow. The problem is that the only people that truly realise this are those that work in the sector.

For just about everyone else, we seem to fall under the radar, playing the poor relation to the financial and service sectors. It’s the narrowest of narrow minded views, fuelled by respective governments over the past 40 years turning a blind eye to the true value of manufacturing in this country.

Until now. Possibly. I’m probably viewing things through rose-tinted glasses as usual but I think there’s one potential positive that’s emerged from this vile pandemic and that’s the way that UK manufacturers have responded to the VentilatorChallengeUK initiative.

The Government has publicly acknowledged and praised this monumental effort on numerous occasions. If nothing else, the pandemic has pushed UK manufacturers a little more into the spotlight. And rightly so.

Recently, I spoke to eight manufacturing companies who played a key role producing ventilator parts in the country’s hour of need. You can read the first instalment of a two part article in this issue with part two following in August.

It soon becomes apparent that all eight companies have a lot in common: they all produced relatively complex parts, in a wide range of materials in large quantities and to tight deadlines. They were all proud to be playing their part in the fight against COVID-19 and all worked tirelessly around the clock, at weekends and even over bank holidays to get the job done.

Most importantly though was the fact that all the people I invited to comment – mainly managing directors and senior staff – were truly humbled by the professionalism and dedication of their own members of staff. This was a real team effort if ever there was one. All hands on deck.

Let’s be honest, it’ll be a bumpy ride for the foreseeable future and then of course there’s the ‘B’ word to contend with just to throw another proverbial spanner in the works, but once we get past that, there will be new opportunities. There always is.

Whatever happens, UK manufacturing is resilient. It’ll adapt, manoeuvre and regroup like it always has over the years. We just need to ride out the storm.


PES Media

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