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The absence of agility starts at the top

In his Spring Statement last week, Rishi Sunak claimed to be ushering in "a new culture of enterprise”. However, in reality, there was little for business to cheer.

Despite energy price rises, depressed GDP growth and inflation running hot, the Chancellor's speech was just a holding statement for industry; the promise of 'jam tomorrow'.

He promised to reform R&D tax credits 'by the autumn' and cut taxes on business investment, but there was one big thing missing; something that all manufacturers could benefit from... expanding the Super Deduction scheme.

The government is essentially giving away free money until March 2023 with the current 130% super deduction benefit. It means that for every £100k spent on R&D, it only costs the business £75k. Right up to £1m.

And yet, the Chancellor said that UK business still spends less than half the amount on R&D vs other developed nations. And half as much on training compared to the EU too.

What's holding us back?

In our experience, there's a real absence of agility across industry: Capital Expenditure cycles (especially in big business) simply take too long to release the investment that's needed right now.

In this month's Vision Update, we show what the right sort of investment can achieve - safety inspection for electric vehicle batteries, cutting-edge robotics for medical devices, pack inspection for sustainable plastic-free packaging and using thermal cameras to prevent antimicrobial resistance.

I'm hoping that when the Chancellor finally brings more help for business in the autumn, these kinds of success stories will be on his mind.

Thanks for reading,


Trial news
Automation goes international: UK packaging solutions deployed worldwide

It's no secret that our specialist systems are changing the frontline of manufacturing in the UK by encouraging automation and organically empowering the workforce to upskill, so I'm pleased to share that Bytronic's insightful innovations and powerful partnerships are now being rolled out on a global scale.

Reducing waste and preventing accidents with cost-effective quality control, our vision engineer Fran has recently travelled to consult with a Canadian brewery on implementing our acclaimed HotSpot system in their manufacturing and packaging hub.

Backed by a fully integrated, automated, and non-contact quality control system and the assurance of years of dedicated testing and deployment in the UK, the international market is now starting to see the innate and incredible value of investing in automation to cut waste and cultivate yield.

How our 'bovine FitBit' is reducing farmers' reliance on preventative antibiotics through thermal hotspots

Antimicrobial resistance in animals is a growing cause for concern for farmers around the world - but how do you tackle a problem that is itself caused by preventative measures?

For years, it's been standard practice to innoculate animals against diseases with antibiotics, which is often done preventatively rather than reactively to stop the spread of disease before it starts, to keep the meat and dairy industry safe for human consumption.

However, like humans, animals build up resistance to antiobiotics over time - meaning that one day soon, they may be vulnerable to disease with no drugs left to safeguard their health or that of the public.

We've been working in partnership with Dr Jasmeet Kaler, a Professor in Epidemiology and Precision Livestock Informatics at the University of Nottingham, to implement an inventive solution to circumvent catastrophe - which you may have seen Countryfile presenter Tom Heap refer to as a 'bovine FitBit'.

The cutting-edge technology is actually a high-tech thermal camera that monitors the animals' core temperature and can detect when a cow is on the verge of becoming unwell - allowing it to be isolated from the herd and preventing the spread of disease - with zero need for antibiotics. Skip to 26 minutes in to learn more.

Product news
No CapEx approval needed: Surging demand for 'Inspection as a Service'

In last month's update, we introduced 'Inspection as a Service' which reduces manual checks and downtime on production lines, saving manufacturers money at a vital stage in their supply chain.

Our CTO and Founder John has recently checked in remotely with our latest collaborative partner up in Scotland and it seems that our innovative telecentric technology is certainly living up to the hype, having already measured more than 2.5m bottles so far.

We're seeing a real surge in demand for rapid response inspection - which makes sense when you consider that our advanced interim solutions can be set up in under 48 hours and yield immediate, measurable results - saving companies crucial time and money whilst they search for a long-term fixed solution. Crucially, this doesn't need CapEx approval  - so production managers can implement immediate solutions to perennial problems without needing sign-off at board level.

Partner news
Guiding the future of medical manufacturing

Operational challenges are made to be overcome, and one recent project we've begun work on has certainly solidified that tried and tested mantra. Making a measurable and meaningful contribution to people's lives, the medical sector is one that can afford few mistakes - which is exactly where our latest innovative partnership comes into play.

As an acclaimed addition in our growing portfolio of proud partnerships, we've teamed up with ABB to carefully calibrate robot guidance systems for use in the future manufacture of medical devices.

This includes setting up location software for the robots to 'pick' and work off assembly line parts - so it needs to be highly accurate and repeatable. They're small, suspended robots, meaning that it's been a real challenge to find the best solution.

The very first approach simply didn't work, so we reframed the problem in order to see past it, coming back with a whole new solution that's helping to save lives and automate away from humans in the best possible way: by freeing up skilled hands for other, more important work.

We'll announce more on this soon, but it's incredibly rewarding to be working with ABB software again to help underpin the prototypes that will be the mass production lines of the future.
Bytronic, London Energy
An EV epiphany: how high-speed thermal cameras are safeguarding the next generation of transport

With the number of low-emission electric vehicles on the road expected to double by 2025, the future of vehicles, whether domestic or industrial, looks sure to be electric. But what about the batteries?

With such a spike in demand, the production of electric batteries across the nation is set to skyrocket - but how can we safeguard such relatively new systems to protect life, industry, and manufacturers' bottom line?

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