This is how manufacturing can use its skills in new ways to help the recovery

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The Covid ‘ventilator challenge’ shows how technology can be used in new ways to boost manufacturing resilience and support ‘re-shoring’, according to a company boss.

Steve Dunn, managing director of tooling firm Metlase, believes its pioneering work in the VentilatorChallengeUK shows that methods used in one sector can quickly be adapted to another.

It can also help firms keep staff safe, accelerate training and support diversification into new areas, especially when faced with unprecedented drops in demand. And a stronger manufacturing sector can also help the UK bring back manufacturing from overseas.

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Metlase, which employs 30 at the AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham, played a pivotal role in the nationwide effort to produce more ventilators for the NHS and 72 manufacturing workstations for Rolls-Royce.

Metlase is based in Rotherham.Metlase is based in Rotherham.
Metlase is based in Rotherham.

Mr Dunn said: “Industry hasn’t really seen anything like the sudden changes the pandemic has thrust upon it and there is now a massive need for manufacturing to be more flexible and rapidly adapt to a changing economic picture.

“Horizontal innovation, where we take core technology and processes developed in one sector and transfer them to deliver a solution in another, is very much in demand.

“This is supported by an outstanding engineering team that we can mobilise quickly, with more than 500 years’ knowledge and experience between them - a very powerful source of competitive edge and one we are now putting to good use with exciting new projects in automotive and medical.”

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MetLase, which is part of Unipart Group, makes tooling, fixturing and components. It works across automotive, aerospace, scientific equipment and pharmaceuticals.

It is also seeing growth in digital solutions and automation.

Mr Dunn added: “Faster, more intelligent manufacturing that delivers data is what industry is demanding and we are at the forefront of how we can turn a traditional fixture or tool into an intelligent component.”

MetLase is hosting a webinar to support manufacturers to increase their ability to recover from Covid-19.

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It is live at 3pm on Thursday July 30. Register here:

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