A&M has been working with Dr Liz McArdle, Innovation Manager (pictured above in our Mornington Road factory) and Onur Eren, Technology Transfer Engineer from WMG SME Group to plan new production layouts.

A&M has been working with Dr Liz McArdle, Innovation Manager (pictured above in our Mornington Road factory) and Onur Eren, Technology Transfer Engineer from WMG SME Group to plan new production layouts.

Liz and Onur are profiled in the Autumn 2018 WMG SME Group newsletter

In the Spotlight with Dr Liz McArdle, Innovation Manager, WMG SME Group

Our team are what really makes the WMG SME Group a unique and diverse place to work. We have some pretty amazing people with varying backgrounds and skillsets, who possess real passion for what they do. We want to give you the opportunity to learn more about them and the value they add to WMG and SME businesses. Within this edition we continue our theme of shining the spotlight on our digital manufacturing experts by speaking to, Dr Liz McArdle.

Liz has over 20 years' experience working with organisations, across the UK and Europe, to improve their processes. Her career started in a technology transfer position, working with a local SME in the paper industry, before moving to a more focused manufacturing role in the oil and gas sector.Liz has also provided support, consultancy and training in process improvement and innovation across a range of industries.Liz’s passion lies in how value can be assessed and improved within a company.

Tell me what your role encompasses at WMG?
I’m part of the SME Group’s support team, focused on providing solutions to manufacturing businesses in the areas of Business Transformation and Digital Manufacturing. The former is all about helping companies move away from a day-to-day or survival mentality, to a more informed and proactive-based approach. This challenge is commonly referred to as 'grip and vision'. We begin with helping businesses understand their business model, and then using a range of tools and techniques to explore ways to grow and become more competitive. This could be through identifying a range of new product or market opportunities. My expertise in digital manufacturing revolves around helping businesses understand how they can capitalise upon the advances in manufacturing technologies and digital innovation to improve their production capabilities, increase efficiency, eliminate waste and become more agile and competitive. We’ve just launched a new project which will help provide manufacturing SMEs with assistance in this very important area.

Tell me more about the new Digital Innovation for Manufacturing project and how this will benefit SMEs?

Digital Innovation for Manufacturing (DI4M) is a three-year project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and developed for SMEs to benefit from the latest in manufacturing technologies and thinking, to help them become more productive and competitive. This pre-funded offer of support (nil cost subject to you meeting our SME eligibility criteria) is available to manufacturing SMEs within the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership areas. Our support is usually delivered through collaborative projects, R&D projects and specialist events and workshops to help improve your knowledge and understanding of digital manufacturing.

What are the common digital challenges you see working with SMEs?
The classic challenges we see are often based around a manufacturers’ processes not being linked or integrated, which makes it extremely difficult to provide accurate and timely perspectives on their manufacturing operations. Some are still using manual-based systems, which may lead to errors or a lack of efficiency in being able to report and share data in a timely manner. Other struggles may be centred around having a lack of knowledge and understanding about digital manufacturing and what it truly means. Some believe it requires a significant investment in expensive IT systems or new equipment, however, the SME Group have a number of experts who can help demystify the confusion around digital manufacturing/industry 4.0 and develop tailored ‘roadmaps’ for implementation. We’ve made a positive difference to a number of businesses through integrating every-day items of technology, which have given ultimate control to the operatives.

What advice would you give to SMEs wanting to improve their digital manufacturing?
Bias aside, I would encourage all SMEs wanting to increase their understanding of digital manufacturing to make contact with the WMG SME Group to arrange an exploratory meeting or visit. Before providing any recommendations or suggestions, we take the time to meet or talk with you and understand your specific challenges. This allows us to develop a clearer understanding of priorities, so we can tailor our solutions accordingly. Many businesses have benefitted from the SME Group developing a ‘Digital Roadmap’, which provides a practical and understandable guide to how a business can consider and implement a range of digital technology solutions to help them improve. Given we’re in highly competitive times, with digital technologies rapidly changing, this isn’t the time to stand still or do nothing. Taking the first steps will help inspire a new culture focused on increased productivity and improved efficiency to put your business in a better position for growth.

Click here if your business is looking for additional expertise to overcome digital manufacturing challenges

Onur Eren achieves Master Black Belt Lean Six Sigma Practitioner status

fd0aa260 df4d 4464 bd2d 407ef5ba2545 A&M get specialist support from experts at Warwick Manufacturing Group

Onur Eren, Technology Transfer Engineer within the WMG SME Group, has successfully achieved the status of a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt practitioner. Onur has helped many UK manufacturers save over one million pounds in the last two years alone, making a positive difference to the UK economy.

For more information or to suggest local SME manufacturers that could benefit from Lean Six Sigma support please contact Onur Eren.