An inside view of manufacturing
The wide range of research and projects from ultra-precise innovations to global networks was highlighted at the annual open evening on Thursday 6 February.
Professor Sir Mike Gregory gave the opening introduction and the event showcased current work through presentations, demonstrations and tours.
He said: “We are always keen to welcome visitors to IfM but usually they can only see a small fraction of what goes on.
“This annual event is an opportunity to see at first hand the breadth of IfM’s activities in education, research and industrial practice which these days include service, sustainability and policy as well as production processes, information and automation systems, technology management, international manufacturing, strategy and performance.”
In the first talk of the evening, Dr Jag Srai spoke about how new technology and markets mean leading manufacturing firms are disaggregating established value chains as they re-examine their international footprints.
He said: “Capturing value from these global networks is becoming a critical competence for the 21st century manufacturing organisation.”
Professor Bill O’Neill, talking on ‘Ultra precision manufacturing innovations’, said research and development of ultra precision manufacturing technologies is essential if the UK manufacturing base is to establish a competitive global position in the production of next generation products.
In the final presentation, ‘The future of manufacturing: a new era of opportunity and challenge for the UK’, Professor Steve Evans said that the UK, and Cambridge’s, traditional strengths in innovation and technology are going to be increasingly important to manufacturing as factories get smaller, cleaner and closer.
He said: “Manufacturing will even be appearing in a shop close to you where you will be able to buy your custom-made product there and then.”