Manufacturing in the UK is increasingly specialised, embracing digital transformation, and cementing its position as a dynamic, forward-looking sector.
Except, that too often the news stories focus on a narrative of mass manufacturing decline, implying that the UK does not make anything anymore.
“What is the most powerful, immediate and impactful means for today’s manufacturers to get their message across? The answer is visual.”
While a finished product is one crucial piece of evidence of quality output, capturing the processes involved in manufacturing can shed a whole new light on this sector.
“Employment in the UK is seen as very much service-based and largely white-collar, but manufacturing continues to play a critical role in the economy, and, with its impact on supply chains, it has a far wider reach than people perhaps realise.”
This is borne out by a report from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), which estimates the total impact of manufacturing on UK GDP in 2016 to have been £446 million.
Manufacturing supports around 7.4 million jobs within its sector, and a further 1.8 million in other sectors supporting it.
“It is important for manufacturers to be able to raise the profile of what they do, and to change perceptions to more accurately reflect the value they bring to the economy.”
A Hidden World of Work
What does manufacturing in the 21st century look like? This is where industrial photography can play such a crucial part.
“There is undoubtedly a powerful visual impact that modern manufacturing can have, whether this is about the intricacy of electronic interfaces, the monolithic vastness of automated production lines, or the skills of the individuals involved”
Images gain the instant attention of audiences and convey messages without the need for words. They can help establish an immediate connection.
For many manufacturers, their own perception of what they do is sealed off from the outside world, whereas, a different visual perspective can uncover the drama and power inherent in their work. This can become a powerful marketing and communications tool.
What is a Picture Worth?
Publicity for manufacturers needs to be eye-catching. The assumption many manufacturers make is that what they do does not translate into marketable material. However, striking photography can make a huge difference.
“A well-publicised, widely shared and published photograph can mean a big boost in raising awareness.”
Adrian won EEF’s Manufacturing Photography Competition in 2017 with this image he shot for a client’s compressed air processes.
The image was published in the national press, on full page articles, with a combined readership of over two million.
“Manufacturing needs to shout louder about itself, and the right visual imagery can help it do it”
“The sector is changing, and it is increasingly specialised,” Adrian concludes. “At the same time, it needs to attract investors and reposition itself in the public eye as a dynamic industry.”
To use the power of photography to raise the profile of what you do, and transform people’s perceptions about the industry, call Photography for Industry on 0151 356 3855 or 07981 653512 , or visit photographyforindustry.com.
Top image by Adrian Waine: Dye penetration is used to test the quality of welded joints in aerospace components during Non Destructive Testing. Shot commissioned by Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies, Derby.