Centre visit helps businesses switch on to innovation

Second opportunity to see centre of excellence


Businesses in North Lanarkshire have a second chance to visit the globally-recognised Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Inchinnan later this month, following the success of the first event.

Our Enterprise team is organising the trips to the facility, a centre of excellence in innovation, manufacturing technologies, research and development, and metal forming and forging research.

Business owners, operations directors, design engineers and product developers from a number of local manufacturing and engineering businesses took part in the first visit. The tour included observing the latest in robotic, automated and technological advances, as well as taking part in round table discussions on barriers to innovation, collaboration and funding. The visit also provided a chance for businesses to meet and network.

Another visit to the centre is scheduled for Thursday 22 November, from 10.00am to 12.30pm.

Any engineering or manufacturing businesses based in North Lanarkshire interested in joining the AFRC visit should contact Caroline Brown, Enterprise Development on 01236 638945 or browncar@northlan.gov.uk.

The first group visit brought together businesses from across North Lanarkshire including Devro (Scotland) Ltd, Bells Food Group Ltd, PWR Pack Ltd, Spaceright Europe Ltd, Zepf Technologies UK Ltd, Rhinowash Ltd as well as Business Growth Advisers from Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

Businesses were specifically interested in 3D scanning technology, simulation, automation, robotics, supply chain development, improving machining processes and manufacturing efficiencies.

Les Aitken, General Manager of Zepf Technologies UK Ltd, based in Cumbernauld, said:  "We really enjoyed the visit and presentation. It's opened our eyes to possible collaboration that might support our short-term goal of identifying suitable 3D scanning technology and has got us thinking longer term about how we push the technology boundaries within our design function."

Yvonne Weir, the council's Enterprise Manager commented: "We are taking a more sector-focused approach to engaging with, and supporting, our business base in North Lanarkshire. As part of this effort, we want to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with specific industry sectors and channel support accordingly.

"Our manufacturing and engineering sector here in North Lanarkshire is strong and we recognise the need to align businesses with industry specific support available through the AFRC to help advance the sector. This will help build on existing success and drive efficiencies and productivity in our economy."

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