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'Good things come in smart packaging' – an IfM ECS-Lloyds event for the food and drink sector
The UK Food & Drink industry has a turnover of £92bn - this key sector is showing a huge interest in smart packaging technologies because of their innovative and potentially transformative applications in crucial areas such as food quality and safety, the supply chain, brand protection and enhancement and user convenience.

IfM ECS is holding a half-day thought leadership event on 19 May, titled Smart Packaging for the Food & Drink Sector: “Good things come in smart packaging”. The purpose of this event is to bring together members of the food and drink supply chain with Cambridge researchers and industry experts to find out how they are unlocking the potential of what science can contribute and provide insight into where the future of packaging may lie.

Coffee and registration is from 9.30am, the programme will start at 10am with a series of presentations and plenty of time for Q&A and discussion, followed by lunch and ending at 1.30pm. Speakers and topics are:
  • Dr Cormac Neeson, Director of External Affairs, Crown Packaging: ‘Trends in smart packaging’
  • Dr Luigi Occhipinti, National Outreach Manager, EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics: 'Manufacturing challenges for sensors and electronics integration in smart packaging'
  • Joao De Oliveira, VP Business Development, PragmatIC Printing Ltd: 'Smart packaging, technologies, functions and costs'
  • Brian Lodge, Design Manager, RPC Containers: 'Smart packaging in the rigid plastics industry'
  • Dr Rob Phaal, Senior Researcher, Centre for Technology Management, IfM: 'Roadmapping for strategy and innovation'
There will be introductions by Dr Karen Smith, Head of Sector Development and the SME Support Business Unit, IfM ECS, and Nigel Sandbrook, Senior Manager, Lloyds Bank, who are kindly sponsoring the event.

If this event is of interest to you, please book here.

Picture credit: EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics
Milbank Concrete Products: cementing its growth through innovation
IfM ECS continues its work with 120 companies as part of the PrISMS programme. Milbank Concrete Products' precast concrete range includes floors, staircases and beams and its services to clients include design, manufacture and technical support.

IfM ECS has helped the firm to:
  • define the business growth strategy
  • implement an innovation process to support the growth strategy
  • increase revenues by 10% per annum
  • reduce electricity consumption and energy bills by 20%
  • optimise existing factory and yard layouts
  • increase manufacturing capacity by 10%
  • maintain existing jobs and increase staff levels by 5%
 Manufacturing Zone draws the crowds to IfM for the Cambridge Science Festival
Hundreds of visitors came to the Manufacturing Zone as the IfM opened its doors for the Cambridge Science Festival.

There was a wide range of events to enjoy from hands-on activities to demonstrations and talks on 21 March.

A popular event was a talk by Dr Tim Minshall on ‘How engineers make the world a better place’. A large audience of children and adults learned about 3D printing and its applications, such as Robohand - a 3D artificial functioning hand - and a machine which can print any fruit in any shape, designed by Cambridge firm Dovetailed.

Tim talked about the Crossrail project and how Rolls-Royce jet engines are made, and an IfM student gave an insight into Cambridge University Eco Racing, the team who built the solar-powered racing car to travel 3,000km across Australia.
  Read More  
Positive signs in Annual Manufacturing Report
The Manufacturer has produced its Annual Manufacturing Report 2015, a survey of key decision makers in the sector. This year’s results are encouraging, with respondents stating that they are raising capital for new innovation and technology.

Confidence is reported to be higher than in a number of years while concerns about finance are lower. There are more vacancies but there remains a need for candidates with suitable skills to fill these posts.
  Read More  
  Purchasing and supply management: a strategic approach
IfM, Cambridge
The first of two workshops looks at the main elements of strategic sourcing and the areas that are most useful to SMEs.
  Book Now  
  Improving the overall effectiveness of the procurement process workshop
IfM, Cambridge
The second of two workshops reviews the overall procurement process to help identify areas where the process could be more effective.
  Book Now  
  IfM Briefing Day
IfM, Cambridge
A day of interactive sessions for senior industrialists and policymakers presenting the latest research, approaches and practical applications from the Institute for Manufacturing.
  Book Now  
Meet the team: Dr Imoh Ilevbare
Dr Imoh Ilevbare is a Business Tool Developer on the PrISMS programme and he is working on four tools to benefit both SMEs and early stage ventures (ESVs). These include a business strategy tool and an assessment tool for ESVs, a tool for help businesses to refresh their strategy as well as a marketing toolkit for small businesses and start-ups. 

These tools are built primarily on Centre for Technology Management research in roadmapping, portfolio analysis, and the commercialisation of early-stage technologies. They have been created in such a way as to help small businesses with limited time and resource capture and address important issues to grow and improve their businesses.

Immediately prior to joining IfM ECS, Imoh completed his PhD at the IfM. His thesis explored risk management in early-stage innovation planning. He studied mechanical engineering as an undergraduate and worked in SMEs as well as multinational firms Schlumberger Well Services and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company before starting his PhD.

You can contact Imoh at and on 01223 764835.
Read the latest edition of the IfM Review
The IfM Review is rapidly becoming one of the most important windows on the Institute for Manufacturing.

This latest issue features articles on advanced manufacturing, big data, management tools and toolkits and high value manufacturing, as well as news and updates from the IfM.
New industrial fellow joins: Nick Sherwen

Nick has recently joined ECS as Senior Industrial Fellow. He has more than 25 years’ experience in manufacturing industry across Europe, focused in particular on mid-size organisations.
To learn more about how IfM ECS can help mid-size firms click here or contact Peter Templeton.
Baker Tilly: UK Manufacturers are moving up the value chain
Manufacturing companies in the UK are continually looking for innovative ideas to remain competitive in the global market place and to ensure they meet the ever increasing demands of customers.  One of the ways in which they are doing this is through servitisation – in essence, what would have been a very tangible product-based organisation now needs to become a more service-based one focused on delivering value-added propositions to its customers.
Not only does servitisation allow manufacturers to win work they may otherwise lose, but it also provides a means to developing long-term customer relationships and provides a way to diversify its income stream, offering more consistent revenues when product sales dip. Whilst IT manufacturers now offer Software as a Service and Cloud computing and Oil and Gas producers run forecourts, other manufacturing organisations need to follow suit. This means services such as design, installation, maintenance, training and consultancy services, sales models based on usage as well as the effective use of new technology e.g. for online support, to leverage GPS data etc. will be the key to future success.
Whilst servitisation may not be the answer for all manufacturers, it is something that cannot be ignored and manufacturing organisations will need to look at the impact that servitisation will have on their operating models, processes, technology and skills.
Dawn Lay-Flurrie, Partner, Baker Tilly.
Are you thinking of adding a service element to your business model?
Many manufacturers are now looking to offer services alongside their products. IfM ECS provides a set of strategic approaches to support the challenging transition to a more service-based business model.

If you would like to learn more, contact Nick Sullivan.

Sign up for regular SME updates from the IfM
Your colleagues can sign up to receive regular SME updates from the IfM. We will not pass on their information to third parties.

  Sign up here  
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