Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena

Major manufacturing announcement
In a significant commitment to UK manufacturing, INEOS Automotive’s uncompromising 4×4 is to be built in Wales. Named ‘Grenadier’, this investment will create up to 500 jobs as part of INEOS’s £600 million investment to bring the Grenadier to market in 2021.

INEOS Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from. The decision to build in the UK is a significant expression of confidence in British manufacturing, which has always been at the heart of what INEOS stands for.”

INEOS Automotive has confirmed that in parallel, it will be investing in a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal. The facility will produce the Grenadier’s body and chassis, working in conjunction with INEOS’s European supply chain partners.

Dirk Heilmann, Chief Executive Officer of INEOS Automotive, commented: “Confirming production in the UK, as well as our investment in Portugal, is a major milestone for the project. We are progressing well with the design and engineering work, as well as our marketing and distribution plans. In the months ahead, we look forward to sharing more information about the Grenadier, and engaging with local suppliers, the community and region, in advance of the start of production in 2021.”

Prestigious award sorted
Bühler has received the United Kingdom’s most prestigious innovation award – the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – for its optical sorting technology. This year’s win is in recognition of Bühler’s development of a unique camera technology used in sorting machines, capable of recognising the subtlest of colour and shading contrasts in materials and foods, thereby significantly increasing detection rates for foreign materials, potential choke hazards, or contaminated foods.

The Bühler camera technology is also being used to detect lower-grade or discolored polymers to ensure the highest grade recyclate can be achieved by plastic recyclers. By detecting such high rates of contamination, it is now possible to produce food-grade plastic packaging from 100 per cent recycled material, cutting the need for virgin plastic production and levels of plastic being sent to landfill.

One of the criteria for a Queen’s Award is that the technology should not just be innovative, but has to be scalable, commercially viable, and to have resulted in a material improvement to a commercial process. Since the introduction of the Sortex E optical sorter using BioVision technology, sales of Bühler sorting solutions into the nut sector have doubled. The technology is now being used by the world’s top nut producers globally to detect blemished nuts along with the smallest shell fragments in walnuts, pecans and pistachios.

Bike printing
AREVO, the Silicon Valley company redefining global composites manufacturing through digitalisation, and Pilot Distribution Group BV, a global leader in bike design and production, announced at Eurobike 2019 that AREVO will produce the 3D-printed carbon fibre unibody frames for a new line of e-bikes from Pilot.

This announcement marks AREVO’s second major customer win in the cycling industry within the last six months. Frames of a different design, announced earlier this year, are currently in volume production at the company’s Milpitas, CA manufacturing centre.

“AREVO’s continuous carbon fibre technology is very impressive as it affords numerous design possibilities and provides excellent strength and durability,” said Arno Pieterse from Pilot. “The technology truly is a revolution in composites manufacturing and enables us to offer all the high-performance qualities we envisioned for EVE.”

“We thank Pilot for the confidence they have shown in the AREVO DNA™ technology, which is unique in the additive manufacturing (AM) world,” said Hemant Bheda, Co-Founder and Chairman of AREVO. “We feel we are making a significant impact in the bike industry and see near-term applicability in other areas of green urban mobility, from electric scooters to e-VTOLs, or flying cars.”

Going for gold!
2019 is the year Oliver Wight celebrates its 50th Anniversary as a world-leading business transformation specialist. Founded in 1969, as man first set foot on the moon, Oliver Wight was established by its namesake – Mr. Oliver Wight – in the USA. Half a century later, the organisation is operating throughout Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, as well as North and South America.

Even with today’s global presence and in an era of fast changing technology and consumer demand, Oliver Wight’s principles remain true to one man’s belief – that all organisations can transform the management of their business, to enable sustainable improvement and profitable growth and that people are at the core of true business transformation.

“I’m delighted to be celebrating Oliver Wight’s 50th anniversary,” says Les Brookes, CEO of Oliver Wight EAME “In a time where businesses have it tougher than ever, we continue to innovate so that businesses can tackle today’s challenging marketplace. Our success can be attributed to that of our customers, some of whom we have worked with since our very early days,” Brookes continues, “If there is a common denominator in how our clients attribute our mutual success, it’s in Oliver Wight’s ‘decidedly different’ approach to business consultancy. By transferring our knowledge to our clients’ own people, we empower change from within to enable sustainable transformation, over years and decades.”

Make it wearable
ProGlove, a leading provider of industrial wearables, has announced a $40 million investment from global growth equity firm Summit Partners. The company plans to leverage this funding to expand its international footprint and support its mission to connect the human workforce with the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

Founded in 2014, ProGlove offers a scanner glove designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of scanning processes used across the manufacturing, logistics, transportation and ecommerce/retail sectors. ProGlove’s products are integrated into the factory and warehouse floor processes at some of the world’s most renowned brands including Audi, BMW, Bosch, Daimler, DHL and Lufthansa Technik. The company’s smart glove provides an ergonomic, hands-free barcode scanning solution that helps workers increase productivity and optimise workflow. While traditional handheld scanners tend to be unwieldy and bulky, the small form factor, lightweight, wearable design of ProGlove’s scanner unit allows users to reduce scanning time by up to four seconds per scan. In a warehouse or on a factory floor, this reduction represents an improvement in scanning efficiency of as much as 50 per cent for some ProGlove customers. Additionally, the company’s smart glove provides direct feedback to the user via optical, haptic and acoustic signals, helping to eliminate mistakes and improve overall process quality.

“Organisations seeking to maintain a competitive edge in the era of Industry 4.0 must rethink and reinvent the way in which humans and machines interact. Wearable devices acknowledge the importance of enabling a smarter, more effective worker in the industrial IoT environment,” said Andreas Koenig, CEO of ProGlove. “Industrial wearables define the future of assembly, production and logistics processes. Our smart wearables are designed to function as a natural extension of the workers’ tools, strengthening the role of the human in today’s automated world.”