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SME Digital Technologies Factory Tour

Over 70 members of the Manufacturers Alliance Annual Group Meeting, visited Hosokawa Micron Ltd’s Runcorn factory, as part of an event to showcase how utilising digital technologies can be a performance enhancer in SME manufacturing businesses.

It is hoped the event can show, by best practice example, how Industry 4.0 type technologies are already being used, effectively. The Hosokawa factory tour was seen by many as a highlight of the day, with many commenting, ‘very insightful’, ‘very informative’, ‘really enjoyed the explanation of the new processes and input from the shop floor’, ‘great energy and knowledge from the Hosokawa Team’ and ‘great to listen to Hosokawa’s digital journey’.

The factory tour at Hosokawa allowed MA members to see:
• How a PLM system can be used to pull the overall business management system together, eg. CRM, ERP & Design Software
• How 3-D Design & VR/AR can be applied in an SME business
• How to set up and gain value from a Digital Twin
• What a roadmap to implement digital technologies looks like

Iain Crosley said, ‘Throughout the day exceptional speakers spoke passionately about a number of topics including; the unique USPs that Industry 4.0 can provide, cyber security protection, real examples of how even simple technologies can have a big impact on businesses and the support for Industry 4.0 implementation available through Innovate UK and KTN.
A visit to our Contract Processing facility enabled visitors to see how digital technologies have enabled us to improve in-spec material production to 98%. Our Contract Processing and Hosokawa Gen4 teams were pleased to answer questions on a range of topics including ‘how to start the digital journey’, ‘who to trust’ and ‘the benefits they could apply to their own businesses’.

The Contract Processing Facility has been built as a Demonstrator as called for in the Made Smarter Report, and Hosokawa Micron are inviting interested parties to arrange visits to understand how these technologies can be applied to their businesses.

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