The addition of Smart Factory Expo is all set to make M&E Week a key date for the aerospace manufacturing sector in 2023.
Manufacturing and Engineering Week 2023 is living up to its promise of becoming ‘the festival of industrial innovation’ with a number of extra events, Smart Factory Expo and Drives & Controls, now making it a key date in the calendar for those in the aerospace sector.
Those familiar with the Smart Factory event will be pleased to hear that, apart from its more conveniently accessed location – Birmingham's NEC as opposed to Liverpool, fundamentally it remains the same event with the same focus on the aerospace manufacturing sector’s biggest challenges: sustainability, digital transformation, innovation, supply chain resilience and people and skills.
Manufacturing & Engineering Week comprises seven Solutions Theatres each focused on different stages of the value chain. Each theatre offers a comprehensive schedule of free-to-attend presentations delivered by manufacturing and technology experts. Solution Theatres topics include: Automation & Robotics, Digital Transformation, IIoT & Connectivity, Industrial Data & AI, Innovation, Maintenance and Design Engineering.
There are several other major events taking place as part of Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2023 including the Sustainable Digitalisation Summit - an executive level conference for businesses with a turnover in excess of £100 million. This is a two-day knowledge sharing event that informs manufacturers on how to develop their business models in a practical manner. The event brings together professionals to share their experience on tackling the challenges they face and making the most of the opportunities that exist to ensure the future growth of manufacturing.
The Sustainable Digitalisation Summit involves a variety of keynotes, panel discussions and topic-specific discussion tables, designed to provide the best opportunity for learning. Each discussion table is dedicated to a specific area. Delegates can choose the ones that are most relevant, enabling them to sit with their peers and topic experts to share challenges, collaboratively develop solutions and have questions answered first-hand.
Similar, but for businesses with a turnover below £100m is the SME Growth Summit. The event provides a unique opportunity for SME delegates to get the information they need from experts in digital manufacturing. With the same format as the Sustainable Digital Summit, delegates are also able to sit down with their peers at interactive roundtable sessions to discuss and identify the most effective avenues for growth and learn how to act on them. The summit is designed for the leadership teams of UK SME manufacturers looking to increase market share, break into new markets and thrive in today’s business landscape.
Get around the table
A notable activity, moving from its Liverpool home to take place as part of M&E Week, is The Manufacturer Top 100 which in 2023 celebrates ten years of highlighting the work of inspirational industry leaders. The Manufacturer Top 100 began in 2013 as an awareness campaign to help address the lack of visible role models in the manufacturing industry. It aimed to provide a platform for the most inspiring individuals in the industry, to illustrate the enthusiasm and commitment present in modern manufacturing and to underscore the exciting, well-paid, and rewarding careers that exist in the sector.
These headline activities will run alongside a number of fringe events, all taking place as part of Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2023. For example, special editions of The Manufacturer Directors’ Forum will take place to capitalise on the fact that so many manufacturers are going to be in Birmingham during the course of one week. The Manufacturer Directors’ Forum is a 10+ year-old professional network of senior manufacturers drawn from across the industrial spectrum. Its 1800+ members are a highly engaged community and meet at invite-only events throughout the year – in a variety of dinner, breakfast, drink and virtual formats – to discuss the key issues and the emerging opportunities for their businesses. These events are co-hosted by The Manufacturer and a Strategic Partner, and are formatted as candid discussions about the realities of running manufacturing businesses in today’s climate with informed insights from industry experts. The roundtable format provides a great opportunity for peer-to-peer networking and insight into current business issues, whilst sharing ideas, views and experiences – plus at the same time creating valuable personal connections.
Other activities continue to be announced as they are finalised and are expected to include: The Marketing to Manufacturers Night Summit, a Manufacturers of the Future showcase, STEM programme and much more. It is encouraged to sign up for email notifications or to follow the event on social media because more details about these components will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Uniting the sector
The major differentiator of M&E Week 2023 is that it brings together all aspects of manufacturing and engineering – from design through to the creation and delivery of products. Due to this wide focus, it's suitable for aerospace businesses to bring their whole team from operations, safety and maintenance to design and much more. This connectivity encourages cross-functional teams to attend together, even though they are responsible for different parts of the projects they work on. Multiple divisions, be that from a small or large business, can get value from attending because there are elements of the week that are specifically created for them.
The week beginning 5th June 2023 is Manufacturing & Engineering Week with the centrepiece exhibitions Design & Engineering Expo, Drives & Controls, Smart Factory Expo and Maintec taking place at Birmingham’s NEC on 7-8 June. Other related exhibitions are also taking place at the NEC at the same time and these include the 3D printing focused event, TCT 3Sixty from Rapid News Group. In addition, the centrepiece exhibitions will be surrounded by a number of related activities such as digital days, factory visits and student tours.