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Wage against the machine: what's not working?

I've recently read some very interesting real-world data on wage growth for UK manufacturers, courtesy of MakeUK.

With costs rising on almost every front, businesses are becoming increasingly aware of cash flow and keeping a keen eye glued to inflation to maintain growth. Reading the figures, two things immediately stand out to me: 1) that almost every firm now raises pay for all staff, and not by differentiating by employee type, and 2) that the number of companies delaying pay rises fell from 22% to just 4% in a year.

Increases ranged from less than 1% up to 14%, with the most common rise being 3%. Interestingly, a mere 2% froze pay (vs 1/3 last year).

But what does this mean for the labour market and for business leaders?

Labour shortages caused by Covid and Brexit are partly to blame, as is expanding inflation, and the skills gap too is playing a part - but the report found that companies are essentially seeking to repay their staff after a tough two years. You could say that it's not so much a show of faith as it is a much-needed olive branch as the cost of living soars and the nation tightens its collective belt by another notch  - just to keep the lights on.

I'm curious to know: how does this insight compare to the experience of others in the industry? What specific impacts are you pushing against in your business?

While it isn't necessarily a pleasant subject, the last two years have given the workforce a stark and jarring reminder that we're all subject to the same biological limitations - perhaps, with a shrinking labour market, higher wages for employees and higher taxes for businesses, it's time to admit that there are some jobs that are simply more suited to embracing automation.

We know that there are now more job openings than there are candidates to fill them. Is it not, like with any inefficient system, time to re-assess? Time to remove the redundancies?

A streamlined workforce with fewer, highly-trained workers on a fair wage and with improved productivity and yield is certainly one way to overcome escalating costs...

Thanks for reading,


Trial news
Solutions at speed: 1m bottles sorted with Inspection as a Service

When trouble strikes on the production line, every second of downtime and manual checks costs money. Unlike fixed inspection systems, which must be ordered to exact specifications long in advance, Inspection as a Service is flexible, adaptable, and set up in as little as 48 hours.

What's that mean to my business, you ask? Well, we've now hit the benchmark of sorting 1 million bottles on national production lines in just two weeks with our innovative Inspection as a Service solution - which means eliminating waste and improving quality control just got easier for everyone.

With its almost immediate rollout, it's perfect for quality control in bottle manufacturing. Forget the costly 'pass or fail' process that manual shadowgraphs reinforce - our solution of telecentric lights and cameras can inspect up to five bottles every second.

Partner news
Bytronic granted first UK LPI status by Cognex

We’re thrilled to announce that Bytronic has gained the unique distinction of being the very first company in the UK to be granted Logistics Partner Integrator (LPI) status by Cognex - the world’s leading provider in vision systems, software and sensors.

This is an industry first and underscores the incredible hard work that our team has put into underpinning logistics in manufacturing on a practical, measurable, and now verifiable level. It firmly establishes Bytronic as the UK’s industry leader and gives us exclusive access to the very best logistic integration solutions.

What does this mean for your business? In short, it promises the very best technology to embed integration into your manufacturing line to make operational improvements.

Trial news
Deep learning serves up savings for meal-prep firm

Earlier this month, our CTO and Founder John Dunlop remotely checked in to our latest 'Inspection as a Service' project that's running up in Scotland. He's pleased to report that we've currently measured more than 2.5m bottles so far!

We're seeing a real change in demand for rapid response inspection - rather than sites having to wait for the long-term solution, we're proposing interim solutions, set up in under 48 hours, that can be used right now until a fixed solution can be installed.

Our News
Bytronic, London Energy
Hot stuff: Award-winning FLIR fire safety solutions

We only use the best kit in our integrations. The proof of this? Look no further than the FLIR A500f/A700f smart sensor camera. The ruggedised thermal camera has just won the Innovative Achievement Award at the Detektor International Awards.

The now award-winning safety solution takes "advanced surveillance to new heights", according to the judges, even in extreme environments to allow early fire detection. It's incredibly simple to integrate (for our specialist team, at least) and with a protective housing that can withstand temperatures between -30°C to 50°C, it's ideal for outdoor monitoring in harsh environments.

We recently installed one such system for the UK’s second-largest waste contractor, London Energy. The advanced cameras monitors and identifies temperature increases to trigger the alarm before any fire can kindle and helps to prevent property damage. Get to grips with the innovative system with our in-depth case study.

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