Advanced Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Sector in the digital age

Monday 29 June 2020, 11:16 AM

5 Minute Read

Digital technologies are transforming the way that manufacturing businesses plan, make and distribute goods. This article will look at the relationship between digitisation and manufacturing and delve into the ways in which businesses may be able to claim R&D for digital processes that they have adopted.

There is an interesting link between manufacturing and technology. Some see the two as disparate. But the truth of the matter is that manufacturing businesses have led the way with technology over centuries. And they sit at the cutting edge of this today. Manufacturing is a vitally important part of the UK economy. The link between manufacturing and tech is celebrated, and rightly so. Let’s take a look at how manufacturers are embracing technology and looking to a brighter future.

The Problems Manufacturing Faces 

With Brexit, and all the implications it brings, still to be thrashed out, manufacturers need to look forward and compete on the global stage. The days of looking inwardly are over. The entire world is where we are able to make money in the future. The UK manufacturing industry is much maligned. It shouldn’t be. It is still the 9th biggest manufacturer in the world by output. There is much to celebrate.

One of the major issues facing the manufacturing sector is investment. There are many ways in which a manufacturing business can gain the cash they need to invest and embrace the technology available – or develop tech of their own. This includes –

  • Borrowing from banks or other investors
  • Looking for government incentives
  • Making use of the R&D tax credits already available

With this in mind, there are many ways in which the manufacturing sector is using digital processes to move forward.

Digitisation and Manufacturing

Manufacturers are using all manner of technological support to drive their business. This ranges from Augmented Reality (AR) uses in training to automation, saving thousands of pounds in labour costs on a regular basis. We can look at these in more detail, along with some other prime examples of manufacturing innovation that could be perfect for R&D tax claims.

Virtual Reality is something that has turned training from a classroom exercise into something that works in a real-world situation without the risks that the real world can sometimes bring. It gives people better confidence that they can handle situations when they do arise. It is perfect for health & safety training but fits really well with many other kinds of training too. If you have used this as part of your manufacturing business, then you should be looking at an R&D tax claim. Get in touch to find out more.

Robotics or automation is another much-used tool of the manufacturer. Whereas we used people to do just about every task in a business a hundred years or more ago, slowly but surely, the technology has advanced so that machines can carry out more and more of the processes. This is cost-saving, can improve accuracy and reliability. The Japanese have embraced this technology lock stock and barrel with an estimated 300,000+ robots in use in their industrial sector. If you have automated processes in your business over the last few years, then we need to talk. There is a very strong chance that you have an R&D tax claim waiting to be uncovered.

Augmented Reality is helping manufacturing businesses support their team in making processes smoother and more accurate. The tech uses the real world and applies a layer of the tech world to this, enabling the user to see information that they normally wouldn’t. Again, if you have used AR as part of your manufacturing business then we can help you.

Making Changes and Improvements

In fact, it isn’t solely the above tech adoptions that give you the chance to make a claim for R&D tax credits. If you have made any improvements to processes, products or just about anything else to your business then there is a chance you have a claim. The UK government is looking to reward manufacturing companies (and others too) that have made improvements to what they do. The idea is that anything you do better improves the UK economy.

We help manufacturers claim R&D tax credits. These are easy to claim and can be quite lucrative. The average size of a claim we make in behalf of our clients is over £50k. If you want to get that kind of money back in your business over the next 4 to 6 weeks then drop us a line.

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