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Game changing innovations revealed at Advanced Engineering 2019

Exhibiting for the 3rd year running we were amazed once again at innovations on display at Advanced Engineering 2019. Held annually at the NEC Birmingham, this event is a platform in which engineering businesses and brands from across the UK showcase their latest technological advancements. It is also a place where businesses can network and learn about the latest developments happening on a sector level.

Following on from its 10th year anniversary last year, this year the event featured the new Medical Device Engineering Zone and a revamped Enabling Innovation area. Joining the existing Aerospace, Automotive, Composites, Performance Metals Engineering and Connected Manufacturing zones, the event featured hundreds of stands, giving visitors exposure to a variety of new innovations and ideas, while many companies showcased new products and technologies.

The atmosphere at the show was amazing with several forums and talks from experts across several sectors leaving many in our team feeling inspired. The event is also designed to create a forum for meeting other engineers and businesses.

Our talks

At this year’s show we had the opportunity to give a presentation on both days. On day 1 Mike Price, Founder and Director of MPA presented in the Automotive Engineering zone and on day 2, Client Engagement Manager, Peter Corley, presented in the Connected Manufacturing zone. Speaking on the innovation imperative we wanted to take the conversation around funding up a level, raising awareness of the importance of innovation as a whole for the UK economy.

Since 2007 the UK has gone from being one of the fastest growing G7 countries to the slowest, highlighting a chronic underinvestment in innovation. In his presentation Mike highlighted the need for businesses to take action and invest in innovation by creating the right environment for ideas to become a reality.

Currently the UK is spending 1.6% of GDP on innovation but with an aim to help strengthen the economy there is a target to increase spend to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

At MPA our vision is to support innovation and drive the UK forward towards its target. As a nation of innovators, we know that UK businesses are not short of great ideas, however we also know that the day-to-day challenges many businesses face can shift their focus from innovating to survival. Our aim is to provide professional business services to help business so that they can be released to develop that ground-breaking idea or advancement.

It was great to see that those who attended the talks agreed with us, sharing our concerns and wider perspectives around funding and innovation.

I was really surprised coming to the event this week to see just how much innovation there is going on in the manufacturing industry, but it’s obvious that UK businesses need help with this.

We’ve been working with firms abroad, in countries such as China and UAE, where you truly realise how much they invest in innovation - and how far behind the UK is.

We need to look at the long term and do more in terms of our innovation, because at the moment the timescales to hit government targets are ridiculous.

I found the MPA talk really interesting and we need more ambassadors and more people talking about the subject of innovation.

Tim Kay Founder and Director of 3D FilaPrint

Amazing innovations

With over 300 exhibitors at the show this year there were many new and exciting developments on display. The MPA team were amazed at some of the technological advancements showcased and we have highlighted some of our top innovations from the show below.

Nano Membrane Toilet – Cranfield University

Developed over a course of 7 years this innovation was created to tackle the challenge of sanitation and prevent the spread of diseases in developing countries. The nano technology can turn human waste into water or ash, eliminating issues experienced by those without a plumbing system.

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Smarter production system for BMW – Monolith Ai

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used widely across all sectors and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Monolith AI showcased some incredible examples of how AI technology can be utilised to create a smarter production system for BMW, whilst also documenting how they have aided the production of parts of NASA’s spacecraft.

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Autonomous Electric Tractor - Performance Projects and Dynium Robot

This team came to the show with an autonomous system designed and created specifically for use in rural areas where GPS can often be restricted. The Autonomous Tractor enables more efficient work methods by removing the need for a driver. Working in collaboration with Dynium Robot, Performance Projects worked on developing the concept, and mechanical designs for the vehicle, which was completed in a remarkable 6 months.

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Innovation and the UK

The UK government has a target to increase investment in research and development from 1.6% to 2.4% of GDP by 2027[1]. With such an ambitious target it’s clear that increased funding and the expansion of innovation has an important role to play in achieving this but also in developing important sectors such as engineering and manufacturing.

Supporting UK innovation is at the heart of what we do at MPA, providing the necessary help to release innovators to do what they do best. Hearing the perspectives of other stakeholders across the industry in attendance at Advanced Engineering helped further entrench our ambitions to stimulate change.

If your business is involved in creating or changing new process and products get in touch and speak to one of our team to see if we can help support your business.

[1] Industrial Strategy, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 27th November 2017