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How to be more productive in business - Breaking through with technology

An important aspect to enhance productivity is to adopt the latest technology and to automate the production line, where this makes business sense.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might find this intimidating, as new technology can change the traditional way of working and lead to a loss of traditionally honed skills in the manufacturing industry.  

Some business leaders may also fear losing their jobs due to a lack of understanding of the technology. However, the benefits of technology and automation should not be overlooked, such as improved connectivity, better data capture and manipulation, enhanced productivity, better record keeping, tighter cost control, less wastage, and continual precise repeatability.


From 2,000 packs per day to 1,800 packs per hour

Digimock is a great example of how incorporating technology into business operations can improve productivity. When the flexible packaging producer decided to expand into a new business area by offering co-packing services to their clients, I, as a Manufacturing Advisor from GM Business Growth Hub, recommended that Digimock connect with The North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC) to explore the potential benefits of using a Cobot or Robot for their co-packing production line. After reviewing the operations with NERIC, the company implemented a semi-automated solution for date-coding product packaging. 

Previously, the process involved manually labelling each pack with dates, which was not only time-consuming but also led to errors. However, by adopting the new semi-automatic process, the company has been able to increase its date coding capacity from 2,000 packs per day to 1,800 packs per hour. This has not only made the company more competitive but also added capacity for growth. 

Things to think about when adopting new technology: 

  • Where are the bottlenecks in your business?
  • Can any of the Company’s manual processes be automated?  
  • What automations could be implemented, and what would the timeframe be for the Return on Investment? 

Manufacturers should also consider adopting artificial intelligence, together with robotics and automation, as it is set to transform the manufacturing industry. AI's use in manufacturing has expanded rapidly, offering benefits such as better quality, customised manufacturing, streamlined supply chains, and reduced costs. However, careful implementation and management are crucial due to risks such as job displacement, high investment, security concerns, and overreliance on technology. 

But the journey need not to be a solitary one… 

Productivity enhancement is a continuous journey for every manufacturer with no particular end point. However, the journey need not be a solitary one. With a dedicated team of experts in manufacturing, GM Business Growth Hub is here to provide guidance and support to all businesses in Greater Manchester. The most exciting part is that this specialist service is fully funded, meaning the customer incurs no costs. 

For more information, please visit our website: 

Advanced Manufacturing | GM Business Growth Hub 

Martin Hyman, Manufacturing Advisor

Martin leverages the skills and knowledge gained from over 38 years’ experience working in and supporting aerospace, aviation, engineering and manufacturing companies, to now assist Business to Business (B2B) manufacturers across a broad range of Sectors, to achieve their development and growth ambitions.

He works with Company Owners, Directors and Senior Management teams, to understand their needs and ambitions, diagnosing and identifying areas for improvement across the areas of Finance, Manufacturing Strategy, Marketing, New Product/New Process Introduction, Operational Efficiency (KPIs/Lean/5S Principles etc), and Supply Chains, as appropriate.

To view Martin's full profile including technical capabilities and industry experience, please click here.

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