Heading into 2022, the UK’s manufacturing and engineering community have every reason to be confident. Government forecasts suggest UK growth of 6.0% while the incentive of 130% capital allowances are in place on qualifying plant and machinery investments. Add in the COP26 global summit focussing attention on the importance of tackling climate change and 2022 is set to be a momentous year. There has therefore never been a better time for visitors to attend MACH and the new Engineering Supply Chain show to take advantage of these opportunities.
Organised by the industry, for the industry
MACH 2022 is the UK’s national event for inspiring, innovating and connecting manufacturing and will take place 4-8th April 2022 at the NEC, Birmingham. Organised by the industry, for the industry, MACH is owned by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), a not-for-profit organisation. The Engineering Supply Chain will launch alongside MACH, taking place 5-7th April 2022 and is the destination of choice for engineering and manufacturing buyers looking to find world-class suppliers, exclusively in the UK engineering and manufacturing supply chain.
The 2022 events are designed to not just be a showcase for the manufacturing technologies sector, but a celebration of the manufacturing industry at its best – the development of the digital factory, new automation solutions and connected manufacturing processes, power by the hour and the cost efficiency solutions that will dramatically improve production processes and help shape the industry over the next decade.
Chief Executive Officer at the MTA, James Selka DL explains: “There has been talk in the national media and beyond recently about the challenges facing the manufacturing industry, much of it ill-informed and spouted by those without any real knowledge of what these challenges truly are.”
“The Manufacturing Technologies Association is different. Why? – Because we are the industry. We are owned by the industry, and we talk regularly to our members to develop a true understanding of the issues facing them and what steps are needed to create the conditions under which they can thrive and add value as an important wealth-creating component of British industry.”
James Selka continues – “Unlike other commercial multi-sector organisations, the manufacturing technologies industry is in our DNA. For this reason, MACH is not just another manufacturing industry exhibition…it is the national manufacturing and engineering industry exhibition. We are staged for manufacturers by manufacturers; our members, our Board and most importantly in this context, our exhibition committee, all work to ensure we reflect the industry’s true needs and offer show content that is relevant and value-enhancing.
James Fudge is Head of Operations at the MTA and outlines why MACH is the place to go for manufacturers looking to develop a sustainable, competitive advantage. “With the COP26 global summit focussing attention on the importance of tackling climate change, the green agenda has never been more relevant to UK manufacturers. Manufacturers have a key role to play in helping to achieve the goals outlined by the Glasgow summit – which is why there will be a strong focus on the opportunities presented by decarbonisation during MACH 2022.”
“The exhibition will have a strong emphasis on developing sustainable energy solutions, carbon reduction technology and much more. The desire to achieve sustainable manufacturing processes is now within our grasp and the latest engineering and manufacturing technologies are massively contributing to the ‘greening up’ of the industry. We stand at the threshold of a new era for green manufacturing with the processes required to achieve sustainability no longer a dream, but a reality. The opportunities this creates for the manufacturing technologies industry is immense.”
Companies exhibiting at MACH 2022 will be demonstrating why effective use of technology will be critical in achieving the low carbon agenda and how this will provide a competitive edge for UK manufacturing.
James Selka picks up the theme and continues: “There have never been more reasons for UK manufacturers to be confident. We no longer have to imagine how we are going to do this – the ability to achieve this lies in our own hands. We can manufacture closer to need, thereby reducing damaging product miles; we can manufacture to individual market specification, allowing performance optimisation to local needs; we can manufacture to demand quantity, thereby reducing or eradicating the need to over produce (as is so often the case with batch manufacture).”
“We must start being more ambitious as a country, moving our attitude from “how much will it cost” to “what value will this investment bring to our business?” – and we have the weapons in our armoury to achieve this. Generous government support packages in the form of the Annual Investment Allowance of £1M, the super deduction capital allowance incentive and the extension of R&D tax credit to include cloud computing and research data costs, all encourage vital investment. Never have the latest technologies been more powerful, more affordable and financeable as they are now, even factoring in modest increases in interest rates. It is up to us to grasp these opportunities and MACH 2022 will be an important guide in helping us to achieve this.”
New opportunities for the UK’s manufacturing supply chain
Since bringing the Engineering Industries Association (EIA) on board as part of the MTA family earlier this year, work has been ongoing to shine a spotlight on the UK engineering supply chain during MACH 2022. James Selka explains: “Frustratingly for manufacturers, many have been powerless to avert a crisis not of their making, as the ongoing disruption to supply chains both nationally and internationally, starves them of the raw materials they need, slowing production schedules and interrupting deliveries. The manufacturing supply chain is more complex than most and therefore more susceptible to disruption. All this means a remodelling of supply chains in a post-Covid world is inevitable and why the situation will be another key focus at MACH 2022.”
“We would like to see a more sustainable approach to the UK supply chain, with more intelligent sourcing of product from within the UK. Encouragingly, many companies from within the UK are already looking at reshoring. The Engineering Supply Chain Exhibition, a show within a show, is launching for the first time at MACH 2022 and is intended to highlight some of the opportunities that can be found within the UK supply chain. This new exhibition is where engineering and manufacturing buyers can go to find world-class suppliers, exclusively in the UK engineering and manufacturing supply chain.”
The Engineering Supply Chain Show will complement MACH and help businesses as they look for the innovative solutions that will resist climate change. Shortening the supply chain by sourcing more domestic content will also help support our other major focus for MACH 2022 – the previously mentioned Green Manufacturing initiatives. Reducing carbon footprints by lessening the distance between suppliers will help combat climate change as well as inevitably helping to reduce transport costs.
Education and Development
MACH 2022 will host a dedicated Education & Development Zone featuring a whole host of special exhibits and workshops. The zone has specifically been created to inspire youngsters, stimulate their imagination and encourage them to pursue a career in a fast-moving, technology-driven industry. Empowering the engineers of tomorrow is critical to the future success of the UK’s economy and MACH will provide a platform to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed.
MACH 2022 will be held at the NEC, Birmingham – the UK’s largest venue. Commenting on visitor confidence, Ian Taylor, Managing Director for NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions, said: “In recent months, the NEC has hosted a string of high-profile exhibitions – from events with large established audiences to new shows, introduced to consumers as part of the recovery.”
Ian Taylor continued; “We’ve welcomed back tens of thousands of exhibitors and visitors. It’s clear there’s huge demand for these marketplaces, with people really embracing the return of face to face relationships. Delivering such successful exhibitions has shown that live events are not only a hugely valuable route to market for thousands of businesses – they are also more than capable of being staged safely in every industry sector.”
As the UK’s national event for inspiring, innovating and connecting manufacturing, MACH is uniquely poised to be the go to event for the manufacturing and engineering community in 2022. The MTA’s James Selka concludes; “There are three key things businesses need to improve productivity and therefore competitiveness; the latest technology, the finance to acquire the technology and the skills to acquire and deploy them.”
“MACH and The Engineering Supply Chain show provide visitors with a unique opportunity – the first for a long time – to achieve all these targets with one visit to one venue. We look forward to welcoming the UK’s manufacturing and engineering community to the NEC in April”.