China has become the world’s largest market for robots

UK manufacturing back on track with key growth

IDC’s senior research analyst Lorenzo Veronesi says the UK is now taking hold of the tech manufacturing industry, employing around 2.5 million. Here he explains why it is the best time to be a part of the industry…

The manufacturing industry, particularly production processes, is back on track as a key driver of economic growth, especially in developed economies. Manufacturing has been ignored over the past 10 to 15 years and has taken a back seat to industries such as finance and services.

Now with manufacturing becoming an essential driver of wealth, global economies are focusing on driving high-end manufacturing capabilities in industries such as aerospace and industrial machinery.

The European Commission has introduced a number of policies to increase manufacturing’s share of GDP from today’s historic low of 16 per cent to 20 per cent. With 21 per cent of its GDP from manufacturing, Germany is taking the lead in Europe with its Industry 4.0 project – defining the fourth industrial revolution as highly computerised and based on the use of cyber-physical systems.

China has become the world’s largest market for robots and production automation, which will help it manage its growing wages and guarantee higher product quality.

The UK is also taking a leading role in manufacturing. Employing around 2.5 million people, accounting for more than half of the country’s exports, and contributing to around 70 per cent of business research and development, the manufacturing sector is not only part of the economic history of the country but one that still makes a significant contribution to the economy.

Today, however, with the UK’s heavy dependence on services, especially financial services, the manufacturing sector accounts for only 10 per cent of UK GDP. To redress this, the UK Government has set out a huge reindustrialisation program, together with a number of activities such as the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative – a grant competition planned to improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chains.

UK manufacturers are under the spotlight, but it is a good time to be in the business with the industry at the top of the Government agenda and manufacturing operation processes back at the heart of the industry’s value proposition.

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