- 12 months on and 8 makers are making things smarter
- 80 Cheshire and Warrington businesses have already approached the pilot for support
Cheshire and Warrington small and medium sized manufacturers have invested to adopt new technologies, supported by £250k of funding, in the first year of the Made Smarter programme.
The Made Smarter North West pilot is working with SMEs to help them introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth.
This support for local manufacturing SMEs includes expert impartial advice and one-to-one support, digital roadmapping workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, eight-month leadership and management training programmes offered in partnership with Lancaster University, as well as funded three-month student placements.
62 of the businesses supported with specialist technology advice, including 8 in Cheshire and Warrington, have also secured matched funding, and with this support forecast to deliver an additional £52M in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years.
SME applicants are developing projects involving the adoption of a range of industrial digital technologies, including Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 3D-printing and robotics to solve business challenges across a range of manufacturing functions.
By adopting these cutting-edge technologies, these businesses benefit from improved productivity and revenue, increased exports and job creation, providing new skills to workforces, enhanced integration with supply chains and reduced environmental impact.
The latest Cheshire and Warrington SMEs to secure funding include: Alphabond Technologies (Northwich); Croft Additive Manufacturing (Warrington); and Art Graphics UK (Bollington).