Towards the Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems: Co-design Workshop

Date: 14 February 2023
Time: 9:30 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Burleigh Court Hotel, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3GR

The purpose of this workshop is to bring manufacturing firms, policymakers, digital technology providers together with the InterAct 'Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems' team to co-design the digital roadmaps that enable the UK manufacturing industry to achieve improved productivity, sustainability, resilience, and wellbeing by 2040.

The InterAct team, in collaboration with Make UK and Midlands Engine, recently launched a joint research programme - ‘Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems’. The project aims to identify the 'Vision 2040' for the UK manufacturing industry and develop digital roadmaps to support the transition.

Building on the current literature and 25+ expert interviews with industrialists, policymakers, digital technology providers and academic colleagues, 4 future scenarios and 12 visions have been identified that illustrates the desired futures for the UK manufacturing industry. This interactive workshop is designed to stimulate creative thinking and co-development of ideas. By the end of this workshop we will gain a much better understanding of how the digital technologies could support UK manufacturing moving towards the following scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Productivity Powerhouse

Scenario 2 – Flexibility as the Standard

Scenario 3 – Sustainability Champion

Scenario 4 – Happy and Sustainable Workforce


Innovating and Entrepreneuring – British Craft Based Manufacturing Ventures

Date: 21 April 2023
Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: University of Liverpool School of Law & Social Justice, University of Liverpool, Chatham Street, Liverpool, L69 7ZH

This event is organised by Dr Anup Karath Nair from the Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) Group at the University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS) in partnership with the InterAct Network.

Delegates will be exposed to the ‘next practices’ at some of Britian’s leading craft-based manufacturing businesses. They can listen to and learn about entrepreneuring and innovating from the first-hand experience of business leaders within British Craft Based Manufacturing ventures such as:

Kristian Tapaninaho - Co-Founder and Joint MD Ooni

Sarah Reast - MD Timberkits

Sarah Watson - MD The Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company Ltd

‘Deploying AI Solutions in Foundation Industries; Lessons Learned from ‘Furnace AI’

Date: 20 December 2022
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Location: Online

TransFIRe are hosting a seminar on Tuesday 20th December (9am) which will showcase the TFI Network+ funded project by Dr Peter Green (University of Liverpool)

The seminar will be delivered by Dr. Peter Green from the University of Liverpool, who has been working on an EPSRC TFI Network+ project with the glass industry. Peter has kindly provided the abstract for his seminar below:

Deploying AI Solutions in Foundation Industries; Lessons Learned from ‘Furnace AI’

This presentation focuses on the outputs of a recent deployment of an AI-based monitoring system for float glass manufacturing with NSG Pilkington; Furnace AI. We discuss the challenges associated with transitioning AI solutions from academia to industry, with a focus on both technical aspects (e.g. scalability to large datasets, the removal of data that is towards the end of its lifecycle) alongside the ‘softer’ challenges that must also be addressed during deployment (e.g. risk ownership, user trust). Finally, based on the outcomes of the Furnace AI project, potential avenues of future research are suggested.

Peter will speak for approximately 25-30 minutes and there will be about 15 minutes for questions and discussion.

People as route to competitive advantage in a digital manufacturing future

Date: 25 January 2023
Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Online

In this webinar InterAct Co-Director, Professor Jill MacBryde, will outline opportunities to engage with InterAct – whether you are an academic, policy maker, or a practitioner from manufacturing or a developer of digital technologies. She will particularly focus on how we can ensure that we are thinking abut people as we build a strong manufacturing future in a digital environment. The Webinar will touch on important questions such as:

  • What will a digital manufacturing workplace look like?
  • How can the manufacturing sector prepare people to work alongside new technologies, robots, and co-bots?
  • What are the essential skills for future manufacturing workplaces and how can we enable these through training and education?
  • How can advanced technologies help generate and embed new ways of working by opening up career opportunities for otherwise hard-to-reach groups such as women, minorities, older workers and disabled people?

Moving Towards the Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems

Date: 17 November 2022
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Premier Inn, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AD

‘Counting Backwards’ Co-Design Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to bring manufacturing firms, policymakers, digital technology providers and academics together with the InterAct 'Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems' team to co-design the digital roadmaps that enable the UK manufacturing industry to achieve improved productivity, sustainability, resilience, and wellbeing by 2040.

The InterAct team, in collaboration with Make UK and Midlands Engine, recently launched a joint research programme - ‘Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems’. The project aims to identify the 'Vision 2040' for the UK manufacturing industry and develop digital roadmaps to support the transition.

Building on the current literature and 25+ expert interviews with industrialists, policymakers, digital technology providers and academic colleagues, 4 future scenarios and 12 visions have been identified that illustrates the desired futures for the UK manufacturing industry. This interactive workshop is designed to stimulate creative thinking and co-development of ideas. By the end of this workshop we will gain a much better understanding of how the digital technologies could support UK manufacturing moving towards the following scenarios:

  • Scenario 1 – Productivity Powerhouse
  • Scenario 2 – Flexibility as the Standard
  • Scenario 3 – Sustainability Champion
  • Scenario 4 – Happy and Sustainable Workforce

Agenda

Please arrive at the lobby/reception of the Premier Inn, Albert Dock by 9am to register.

09:00 - 09:15 Arrival and coffee

09:15 - 09:45 Welcome and an overview of the ‘Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems Project’

09:45 - 12:15 Main workshop – Group activities

12:15 - 12:30 Final presentations

12:30 - 13:00 Concluding remarks

This workshop is free to attend and is principally targeted at manufacturing and digital technology industry representatives.

Women in digital manufacturing: discussion panel and networking reception

Date: 16 November 2022
Time: 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: Made Smarter Theatre, Digital Manufacturing Week, Liverpool

Although women represent almost half of the labour force in the United Kingdom, they account for only 26% of all workers in the manufacturing sector.  Gender norms and stereotypes still segregate women and men into different occupations and economic activities. Women are also underrepresented in leadership positions and this lack of diversity influences decision making and firm performance.

Digital technologies have the potential to contribute to narrowing gender inequalities but gender norms often hinder women from taking full advantage of these technologies.  Women are less likely to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; they are also less likely to own a business; and their start-ups receive less funding. The exclusion of women in the design and deployment of digital technologies also risks deepening gender gaps and reinforcing gender norms.

To raise awareness of gender inequalities in digital manufacturing, a discussion panel and networking reception, funded by InterAct, will take place on Wednesday 16th November during Digital Manufacturing Week 2022.

InterAct with AI – Effective AI Use in Industry

Date: 23 November 2022
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Online

Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides organisations with an immeasurable number of opportunities. While the benefits of AI are widely known, the risks are only just coming into focus. When not designed in a thoughtful and responsible manner, AI systems can be biased, insecure, and not compliant with existing laws, even going so far as to violate human rights. AI presents a significant risk of financial and reputational harm for companies that haven't thought through their strategies and roadmaps. Those who are able to manage the risks to use AI responsibly and effectively will win.

Join us on 23 November at 1pm GMT to hear from four speakers addressing the following topics surrounding AI:

1. Developing human efficiency through better collaboration with AI – Dr. Viktor Dörfler, University of Strathclyde.

2. The use of AI in product design: an automotive perspective – Professor Gary Page, Loughborough University.

3. AI and procurement – Joel Walker, COO of The Knowledge Group.

4. Responsible AI considerations in manufacturing, operations and supply chains – Sue Williams, Managing Director of Hexagon.

These talks will be followed by a Q&A session featuring all our speakers.

Insights From History On The New Industrial Revolution

Date: 8 November 2022
Time: 9:45 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Aston University Aston Street Birmingham B4 7ET / Online

Join one of our InterAct funded systematic review teams at Aston University on November 8th to explore the question of how history can pave the way to the next industrial revolution.

Industrial Digital Technologies hold the key to achieving productivity, sustainability and resilience in challenging times. While digital technologies are new, the difficulties that digital technology adoption brings manufacturing firms are not. In each previous industrial transition – mechanisation, electrification, computerisation – some of the biggest difficulties have been human, or commercial, not technical. This hybrid event will present perspectives from industry, policy and academia on the current industrial challenges. It is an opportunity to reflect and learn how historical cases can help achieve success with digital transformation.

The event is part of an interdisciplinary research project funded by ESRC under the Made Smarter InterAct Network. The research team consisting of Ahmad Beltagui (Aston Business School), Brian Sudlow (Aston School of Social Science & Humanities) and Miying Yang (Cranfield School of Management) is researching historical industrial transitions to uncover actionable insights for industry concerned with the human side of digital technology.

Innovating Profitable Manufacturing Supply Chains with Resilience

Date: 25 October 2022
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Online

There is a growing need for more intelligent and holistic planning tools that ensure feasible and profitable Supply Chain plans.

Supply Chain leaders are being required to ensure the profitability of their supply chains while remaining resilient to disruption. A challenging balancing act at the best of times.

Register for this webinar, where you will hear from InterAct Co-director Janet Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at Loughborough University, and John Burdett, previously Supply Chain Director at Tata Global Beverages, to find out how:

  • Supply Chains can flex their supply without adding costs by increasing insight into supply capability
  • Businesses can leverage flexibility through suppliers and partners
  • Better use of data can create more adaptive Supply Chain Planning through more Intelligent Planning decisions.

If you can't make the webinar at this time, please register anyway and a recording will be shared with you after.

Future of Work – Consultation Webinar

Date: 10 October 2022
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Online

We often hear about how new technological advancements will transform jobs in the manufacturing sector, but what does this mean for the future of work on an individual and collective level? Part of the challenge facing UK manufacturers is understanding how today’s jobs and skills will lend themselves to new opportunities created by the implementation of these new advanced technologies.

The pace of technological change raises many interesting questions for academics, policy makers and employers:

  • How can the sector prepare people to work alongside new technologies, robots, and co-bots?
  • What are the essential skills for future manufacturing workplaces and how can we enable these through training and education?
  • How can advanced technologies help generate and embed new ways of working by opening up career opportunities for otherwise hard-to-reach groups such as women, minorities, older workers and disabled people?

The InterAct Team at Strathclyde University Business School is hosting an online session for those interested in these issues to share their views in an open discussion of these issues. We welcome you to join us at 2pm, 10 October to find out more and join the debate.