Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsHello learners, I'm Rajesh, your mentor for week four, Factory of the Future. This week's discussion led to five main blocks, which are directly linked to any factory of the future. The goal of this summary is to review the blocks of the week, and in this front, it's my pleasure to have Professor Jan Godsell, the lead educator of this module to round off our week focusing on the factory of the future. Hi, Jan. Hi, Rajesh, how are you? Thanks a lot. Fine. I trust you've had a great time looking on the thoughtful discussions made by the learners. As this topic is going back to your roots, you should be really excited to join this discussion. No, absolutely.
Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsIt has been a really great week, and it's been very nice to see that some of that content you had this week was actually some of the learners' favourite stuff. So that was lovely to see. Fantastic So, we just start with the block two, 'manufacturing - a hidden treasure'. In this block, we were exploring the idea of whether or not manufacturing was a hidden treasure, a jewel in the crown of our industrial landscape. Jan, what struck you about the discussions in this block? It's quite interesting. Because in this block, we were really looking at what manufacturing is, how that compares to high-value manufacturing, and then looking at some of the different career paths into a career in manufacturing.
Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsI suppose what really struck me, and which is quite interesting, was that many, many people thought that manufacturing was beyond final assembly, which it absolutely is. It was quite interesting to see that different countries have different industrial strategies. Again, when we started to talk about whether or not industrial strategy was important, there was a general consensus that industrial strategy was very important and particularly high-value manufacturing. Though there were some interesting push-backs about, obviously there's a cost to things that are produced in that type of way that more technologically-advanced items actually then are more expensive for consumers. Which was, again, an interesting twist to the discussion. But just coming back to the actual roots of manufacturing.
Skip to 2 minutes and 16 secondsFor me, this really brought to mind an example, which I touched on very briefly in the discussion, which was UK trains. So the UK has made an investment in trains over the last few years and there's been two different contracts and different approaches. One of which sounded like it was fantastic for the Derby area. It was the decision to assemble Bombardier trains in the Derby area. But, interestingly, that's quite a hollow contract in that it is just the final assembly. I think one of the learner's talked about the UK automotive industry. We just assemble final cars. We don't necessary make all the parts here anymore.
Skip to 2 minutes and 58 secondsAnd that's a real issue, because we have an expression, which is the 'hollowing out of supply chains'. And actually the Germans can be critical of our automotive sector, because they say actually in terms of productivity, the UK automotive industry, believe it or not, is more productive than the Germans'. But the Germans tend to have a much more integrated supply chain. They tend to make far more of the components in Germany that they then go on to assemble in the final item rather more than we do in the UK. In comparison, when we went with the Hitachi train contract up in the Northeast of England, I think the government may have intervened.
Skip to 3 minutes and 38 secondsBecause part of the allocation of that contract was the setting up of an R&D centre in the Northeast, but also, I think, a commitment to source 20% of the components from the Northeast. So it's a really good example of how I think this whole landscape is this quite delicate interplay between industrial strategy at a country level, where countries need to make their countries attractive for investments, but also to use the right sort of incentives to encourage the right sort of incentive. So not necessarily just hollow final assembly but actually try to, where appropriate, also encourage parts of those components to be made there too. Fantastic, Jan.
Skip to 4 minutes and 27 secondsOn a very lighter aside, coming back, so I just want to know, out of interest and out of curiosity, which machine did you find most mesmerising in our 25 list? Well, this again is quite interesting. So I wasn't at all surprised that there seem to be three firm favourites with the learners. The toffee apples, which was already a three-stage process, the bread, and the pretzel folding. And I have to say, I can understand why they were all up there. But for me, the one that mesmerised me the most was those bouncing gherkins. OK I would never have thought that you had to try to get gherkins to align like that. But it was lovely to see-- That's interesting. Yes.
Skip to 5 minutes and 10 seconds--people actually really appreciating the diversity of manufacturing. Oh yes, definitely. Heading to Block Three, Jan - 'return to localised manufacturing'. In this block, you're focusing on the potential shift back to more localised manufacturing. What struck you most about this conversation?
Skip to 5 minutes and 31 secondsSo what was nice about this particular section was that the story of Alucast was actually seen by some learners as being one of their favourite parts of the course so far. And it really is a lovely case study. Because it really brings to light some of the true drivers that are driving this return. So if we think about it, it's not about making everything in the UK, or for instance, in France, or America, or India, or Australia as a very protectionist type of strategy.
Skip to 6 minutes and 7 secondsWhat it's about, is each country making its industrial landscape attractive enough that when companies are making a decision about where to put their supply chain assets, be they a manufacturing site, or be they a warehouse, or be they a supplier, it's attractive for them to position that asset in that country. And what we perhaps saw in the 1980s and 1990s, when we just took a very labour-cost focused view of the world, that this favoured us potentially putting things in low cost Asian locations. And what we're seeing now, as those drivers change, so it's not just about low cost, it's perhaps about responsiveness. Or it's about quality, that we're seeing companies choose to put their assets in different places.
Skip to 6 minutes and 55 secondsAnd what we saw in the Alucast situation was a product that was being made in Brazil on a low cost basis being moved back to the UK around drivers around responsiveness and quality. I think it is really important. So just to reiterate this, there's two aspects to this. From an industrial strategy perspective, it's really important that each individual country around the globe understands what it wants to be good at and makes its industrial landscape as attractive as possible. And I think it's really important from a company perspective to make sure that you play to those strengths. And if you're a large, global organisation that you think very, very carefully about what your global network design actually looks like.
Skip to 7 minutes and 41 secondsAnd Jan, do you think-- is the return to more localised manufacturing also driven by more 3D printing? That's a really interesting question, Rajesh. Because I think when people talk about localised manufacturing, the first thing they quite often mention is 3D printing. And the reality is, as some of the learners picked upon, 3D printing or-- it used to be called rapid prototyping-- has been around for well over 30 years. A learner said we were using it in Dyson in 1977. I think that was a typo. I was there in 1997, and it was already a mainstay of how they actually went from CAD drawings, to the first prototypes of the vacuum cleaners, before then going on to main production.
Skip to 8 minutes and 27 secondsI think 3D printing is an important technology. But it is not the only thing that's going to enable us to produce more locally. As the Alucast video showed, that's an aluminium smelting and die-casting operation, which is far from 3D printing. So I actually think that 3D printing is part of our industrial landscape, but one part of it. Coming to Block Four, Jan, there was more on the future of manufacturing. And we started to look at the lens, Corning Glass, and the concept of industry 4.0. And what other main themes, do you think, that resonated in this discussion, more towards your interest, or towards your idea?
Skip to 9 minutes and 16 secondsAgain, the discussions are just fantastic. I loved the creativity of the learners that was sparked from the Corning Glass videos. So I think we've got a fairly future-thinking bunch, that are looking at the adoption of some of these technologies. But I liked the suggestion. And of course, Corning Glass were looking at the world as if it were made of glass. But I like the suggestions with some of the other materials that the world could possibly be made of, and also some of the challenges. For instance, I think someone was rather worried that their cat would find the glass somewhat confusing.
Skip to 9 minutes and 52 secondsI think it segues us nicely into this concept of industry 4.0 and the cyber-physical age, which I think is a more useful way of thinking about it as we discussed. Again, it was really heartening to see that Alan Norbury's presentation from Siemens was really, really seen by some learners as one of their favourite parts of the course. And I think, it was two things, really. One, it's the insights. But also somebody that's actually doing this in practise, taking it beyond a concept into something that's fundamentally changing their business.
Skip to 10 minutes and 31 secondsBut actually, if you look at some of the challenges and the concerns that people had, I think they linked very much into Steve Goodman's view of going forward-- the whole issues around cyber security, quality, and the ethical side of these new ways of working. Not that they will stop us, but that they will require us to think differently. And I think this ties into an aspect of the previous block, too. Because somebody actually mentioned, I think, in the previous block about the role of the legal side in all of this. And I think historically, things like cyber security, things like the legal system, would be an add-on that we considered at the end of developing a business model.
Skip to 11 minutes and 24 secondsAnd I think as we move into the future we have to rethink how we use these services. And we have to design for cyber security. And we have to design our products and supply chains in a way that the legal side of things is considered upfront so that it doesn't inhibit the development of the business model. And I think the specific example somebody used was ARM. And they licenced the technology for their integrated circuit. Part of the reason why they're so successful at doing that is that they thought about how do they protect their IP right from the beginning. So therefore, they've designed their whole supply chain to enable them to protect their IP.
Skip to 12 minutes and 7 secondsAnd actually what they create across their supply chain is a series of, like, Chinese walls so that no one person can get all the information, which by supply chain design actually helps to protect their intellectual property. And so, going forward, it's going to be the early consideration of some of these factors that Stephen eloquently summarised. But I would also say just tying into the previous block, the legal aspect that will really make a difference from these things working, or not working. But also just coming on to what was my own input to this session at the end-- we have to look at this. It's beyond a factory. It's beyond a technology.
Skip to 12 minutes and 48 secondsThis is a totally different way of looking at how we do business. This will see us bringing together these different trends around servitisation, around the technology, or the IOT side, around redistributed or localised manufacturing that we've discussed, and the circular economy, which is the focus to Week Six, to actually totally revolutionise the way that we use and consume things. So there's no doubt about it. We're only on the cusp of this change. But this change could have really fundamental benefits for society if we approach them the right way. So valuable, Jan, thank you very much for the discussion. And I also have to thank all the learners for the week, for their contribution as well.
Skip to 13 minutes and 35 secondsAnd I hope you all enjoyed learning this week on the factories of the future. Yeah. So I'd just like to echo my thanks to everyone. I'd like to also thank Rajesh. He's been an excellent facilitator this week. I really enjoyed his comments. I hope you have too. And I'd just like to remind everyone that it would be really great if you could participate in the cohort challenge, the details of which are at the end of Block One, sorry, Week One. And there's already been some great stuff put there. But we need to try to collate it all together in time for the end of course in Week Six.
Skip to 14 minutes and 12 secondsSo if you could turn your attention to that, that would be great. And I-- next week, you're actually with Gwynne, looking at the logistics side of the supply chain. So I hope you have a great week. Thanks a lot, Jan. Thanks a lot, learners. Thanks a lot.
Week 4 summary
Please return here at the start of Week 5 for the round-up video for Week 4.
Week 4 focused on the topic of ‘factory of the future’. Before immersing yourself in the world of logistics and physical aspects of the supply chain, take some time to consolidate your learning from last week by watching the summary video.
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