The Office for National Statistics reports manufacturing productivity in the fourth quarter of grew by 1.7% on the previous quarter. But overall growth is still lagging behind the curve and the UK economy continues to be haunted by the ‘productivity puzzle’, says engineering adhesives supplier Intertronics. The latest Executive Survey from manufacturers’ organisation EEF confirms this. Findings indicate that in order to achieve their business goals in 2017, UK manufacturers will achieve greater productivity in three ways: process innovation, investment in technology and innovation, and continued work to ensure flexible supply chains. Often the approach tackles more than one of these considerations at a time.
56% of survey respondents reported that they will be undertaking process innovations to increase productivity. Medium-sized firms (those with 101-250 employees) are the most likely to do this, with seven in ten citing it as an action they will undertake. Half of companies surveyed said they expect to increase investment in technology and innovation in the next 12 months.
Intertronics is working with both existing and new customers with process innovation in areas such as very fast light curing of adhesives and coatings using UV and/or visible light, and sophisticated mixing and degassing. The company is investing in technology and innovation in the form of material application automation and precision, and surface treatment. Intertronics reports that its customers also enjoy reliable, fast delivery and, where required, flexible shipments, consistent with supply chain efficiency.
“Our focus is on the use of advanced engineering adhesives as an efficient and reliable fastening method suited to automated assembly, in the form of our latest materials dispensing and curing technologies,” explains Peter Swanson, Intertronics Managing Director. “For example, UV/visible light cure adhesives that cure in seconds, THINKY mixing and degassing equipment, alternative dispensing technologies, our range of dispensing robots and advanced surface treatment techniques are all helping manufacturing companies at all levels of automation maturity to enhance their processes and productivity.”
Intertronics organises regular seminars to demonstrate how the latest technologies and products can play a major role in this. In addition, the company’s Oxford, UK-based Technology Centre enables design and production engineers to evaluate and compare adhesives, coatings, sealants and equipment in the context of their assemblies and processes.