Digital technology advice for manufacturing and engineering SMEs

A leading expert in UK engineering will be travelling to the West Midlands to highlight the transformation of cutting-edge digital technology within the region’s supply chains in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors.

Brian Holliday, the Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries and Chairman of Siemens Digital Industries Software as well as Co-Chair of the Government’s Made Smarter Commission, will be the keynote speaker at the Digital Technology: The Future of AME Supply Chains event.

The high-profile event, which has been organised by Made Smarter West Midlands, is taking place between 10am and 3pm at Grand Station in Sun Street, Wolverhampton, on Tuesday, April 23 – and is free to attend.

The day will be packed with industry experts, buyers, technology specialists and exhibitors for engineering and manufacturing businesses throughout the region to network with.

Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub leads the Made Smarter West Midlands scheme alongside the Growth Hubs in Worcestershire, The Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, on behalf of Business Growth West Midlands, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Department for Business and Trade.

Made Smarter West Midlands helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing and engineering sectors to access match-funded grants and experts from WMG, at the University of Warwick, and the MTC, to introduce digital technology.

Brian Holliday, who is a keen advocate for engineering, innovation, skills and advanced technology, will be joined on stage by Will Kinghorn, Technology Adoption Specialist at Made Smarter UK; Rowan Crozier MBE, CEO of Birmingham-based metal stamping and tool specialist Brandauer; and Dr Mark Swift, Director of SME Engagement at WMG, University of Warwick.  

There will also be two panel sessions focused on sustainable technology in supply chains and supply chain management, and the economic picture for the West Midlands manufacturing industry.

Paul Edwards, Head of Economic Development and Delivery at the WMCA, who will be speaking on the economic panel session, said this event was a fantastic opportunity for SMEs in the engineering and manufacturing sectors in the region to find out more about how digital technology can boost their business.

He added: “The West Midlands has always been a hotbed of innovation and technology and this event will give SMEs an opportunity to hear from industry experts about the difference digital technology can make to their day-to-day operations.

“Made Smarter West Midlands has helped to transform so many businesses since it was launched in our region in 2021 and this event will help to highlight the support that is available right now to businesses who may not yet have begun their digital transformation journey.”

Rachel Eade MBE, who has over 20 years’ experience as a manufacturing and supply chain specialist, will be hosting the event.

She said: “Digital technology is being used every day in our region to help improve supply chain efficiency, speed up processes, provide better insights, and cut down manual errors.

“It can be daunting for SMEs but the exhibition area will be filled with exciting innovative businesses who will be demonstrating new technology.”

Craig Humphrey, Chief Executive at Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said that SMEs and those in the supply chain would be able to find out more about the latest tools, robotics and automated developments being used in advanced manufacturing.

He added: “This event in Wolverhampton is a great chance for manufacturing and engineering SMEs, their supply chains, technology providers, innovators, and those looking to connect with buyers to network.

“Representatives from Midlands Metro Alliance and the Metro Extension project will be attending and looking to connect with businesses so there are some great opportunities available by coming along.”

There are exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities available. Any interested businesses or organisations should email madesmarter@cwgrowthhub.co.uk

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