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supply chain that cannot be affected by this change. Everything can bemonitored, controlled or logged

digitally. It starts with a product specification stored and communicated as a digital file. Amodern digital factorymay only needmanagement and maintenance – and even those are being taken over by artificial intelligence and robots.”

The impact on the SME Paul Walker: “While this is fine for larger companies, it represents a huge challenge for an SME. One of my key rawmaterials suppliers does not even possess a single computer! Delivery notes are handwritten; accounts are done in pen and ink in ledgers. It is so ‘dark ages’ it’s hard to comprehend. When I introducedmandatory labelling formy products, I had to send thembarcodes to photocopy and place on their rawmaterial. That’s how far behind some SMEs are in this country. There are hundreds of themwho would listen to this discussion and shake their heads wondering what we are talking about.” Andy Pye comment:What PaulWalker says is borne out by a survey which an ex-colleague ofmine, Chris Rand, has just carried out about the use of computer systems inmanufacturing. (This is summarised in Table 2.) Chris Greenough: “Digitisation has been pushed through the large OEMs and First Tier companies and that hasn’t filtered down to the SMEs. Yet, this is where the biggest potential improvement is.” Adam Payne: “As Chris says, it is easy to roll it out to the OEMs, they have the investment and teams. But it is themanufacturing SMEs that canmake the biggest difference. They can get somuch out of it – energy savings, remotemonitoring – therefore, we need to see a propermanufacturing policy, which involves everyone, so we all get to the same end goal.” Justin Leonard: “With SMEs, we need to approach Industry 4.0 in small steps. For example, we can introduce smart products that can indicate how long they are going to last (say, warning 50 per cent, 75 per cent of the way through the lifetime). Users of these products don’t have a lights-out factory, and they are already using Industry 4.0 technology, they just don’t realise it.” Paul O’Donnell: “I also agree with Justin. It ismuch easier for an SME to look at the technologies in a piecemeal way. An SME is not going to dedicate an Industry 4.0 change teamand transfer processes overnight.” Lena Huertas: “There is a group being formed called the Digital Engineering andManufacturing Group, which has 20-30 industrialmembers. It is trying to bring together asmany stakeholders as possible to outreach to the SMEmarket. It is a key topic because 99 per cent of our primary businesses are SMEs. The key thing is understanding where you are starting fromand break down the journey into small steps, such as digitising CAD drawings.” David Thomas and Alan Norbury: “There is a big responsibility for large companies like Siemens to work with our SME community. To answer Chris,

18 /// Environmental Engineering /// December 2016 THE PANEL

Introductory Speaker Dr David Bott:WarwickManufacturing Group (WMG), University ofWarwick (Biography – After 26 yearswith BP, Courtaulds and ICI, spent in both their corporate centres and business units, David began a love affairwith start-ups 10 years ago. Hewas diverted into spending seven years setting up and directing the Technology Strategy Board (nowrebranded as Innovate UK), the UK’s innovation agency. He is a non-executive Chairman of Oxford Biomaterials, and a non-executive director of Oxford Advanced Surfaces, has been amember of Sheffield University Council and has engaged in awide variety of activities involvingmaterials, design, sustainability and innovation.) Other Panel Members From Siemens Alan Norbury: Industrial Chief Technical Officer (CTO) for Siemens UK & Ireland David Thomas: Training and DevelopmentManager Olivia Kelly:Managing Director of the Siemens Junior Factory Tim Jones: recent graduate and formerMD of the Siemens Junior Factory Rachel Lawley: Finance Director of the Siemens Junior Factory From the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Dr Lena Huertas: Head of Technology Strategy for DigitalManufacturing Paul O’Donnell: Head of Extermal Affairs UK From Business Law Solicitors FBC Manby Bowler David Preece: Associate Laura Jones:MarketingManager Sole Representatives on the Panel Chris Brown: Business DevelopmentManager,Made in theMidlands Christopher Greenough: Salop Engineering (amanufacturer of pressings and assemblies based in Shrewsbury) and President of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce Justin Leonard: Director, Igus (manufacturer of cables, cable assemblies and plastic bearings) Adam Payne:Managing Director TCMUK (specialises in leanmanufacturing strategy and 3D printing) Martin Strutt: Consultancy Director, Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) Paul Walker:Managing Director, Automotive Insulations (Automotive Insulations in Rugbymanufactures thermal insulationmaterials for the automotive and other industries and is also the UK headquarters for the Autins Group) Moderator Andy Pye: Editor, Environmental Engineering

here’s a good example. At Siemens, we engage with the supply chain to help our Congleton factory. One supplier used to come in and then replenish tote bins containing fasteners if they were empty. Now, they use a remotely-accessible weigh-scale and know whether or not they need to come in and replenish. What did it cost their business – nothing! The supply chain savesmoney and they own the stock, so everyone wins.”

‘ With SMEs,

we need to approach Industry 4.0 in small steps

BUSINESS RISKS Is it true that as far as risks are concerned, the financial side of the business is better catered for than the manufacturing side? David Preece: “My concern is that while we rush to make a factory smart, we will not keep pace with the new risks to which a business opens itself up. If companies are still using the same IT systems that they were 10 years ago, they leave themselves open to intrusion.” Andy Pye comment: “The cyber companies are

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