Welcome to the Manufacturing Matters News Bulletin! In this issue, we focus on inspiring stories of innovation from a variety of companies in the manufacturing sector. Read on to discover the inside stories spanning sleep technology, machine vision and an opportunity to up-skill.
Stars of Innovation:
Rockit recognised for an impressive launch
Rockit have been nominated for an Economic Innovator award by the Spectator following their lineup of devices designed to help babies get to sleep.
All parents know the pain of a baby who just won’t rest, and many resort to rocking their little ones in a pushchair for hours to get some peace. This practice gave rise to Rockit, who created an effective solution to automate rocking when mums and dads find themselves busy.
Manufacturing Matters Magazine spoke to co-founder Matt Dyson about their process of innovation following their shortlisting for the award.
One factor contributing to Rockit’s dynamism is the emergence of rapid 3D printing and cloud based CAD software, Dyson told us. The technology has empowered small firms like Rockit to challenge larger companies in the industry, allowing them to iterate designs quickly and disrupt the market with their products.
Dyson explained that Rockit is more “agile” than larger competitors, allowing them to take an experimental attitude to their product’s design. There is no need to wait for a large committee to approve R&D funding or sign off on designs – Rockit can just follow what feels right.
Dyson highlighted the importance of small grants received early on from Innovate UK to develop prototypes and secure patents for the hardware. Ensuring small companies have access to starting-capital is important to support the growth of SMEs.
Following the success of their flagship product, their next launch involved a device that cleverly simulates the sensation of a driving car, without the baby having to leave their cot.
Seeing into the future:
Scorpion Vision sort themselves a new award
Scorpion Vision recently won the PPMA Group award for Innovative Machine Vision Solutions, following their design and implementation of an automated book sorting system for a retailer.
Since their inception in 2006, Scorpion have been building systems and equipment for automation through complex machine vision technology. By integrating two or three dimensional ‘sight’, robotic apparatus can act and respond to circumstances actively, rather than following a set of orders.
The awarded system uses a number of sophisticated cameras to read data from both covers of a book. This information is then compared to an existing database and the book is sorted into its specific category. The software is also able to to modify skewed images to straighten them when adding information to its cloud. All of this takes place in under one second per book, and the task was previously slowly done by hand.
Scorpion’s CEO, Paul Wilson, spoke to Manufacturing Matters Magazine about their award. Wilson explained that the company was able to uniquely apply their specialised software, equipment and expertise to this specific situation for a fully customised solution. The innovation was made possible because Scorpion’s flexibility enabled an entirely new system to be built from the ground up.
Scorpion Vision also sell off the shelf solutions for machine vision applications.
Lessons in Growth:
Company director goes back to school to boost business further
Some people may think that they’re too cool for school, but nobody is ever too old for school. After a 37-year break, Kevin Duffy of MPL Fabrications went back to university to boost his business acumen.
Hosted by Natwest, in partnership with the University of Warwick, the six-month course aims to ‘inspire, educate, and incubate’ business people to embark upon ambitious growth and innovation programs.
Having successfully grown MPL Fabrications output by 37% since he became director in 2020, Kevin decided it was time to try something new for the next stage.
Manufacturing Matters Magazine spoke to Kevin, who explained the details of the training scheme. Alongside one-to-one coaching, the course also focuses on identifying objectives, promoting your USP, and the potential to integrate new technology such as AI. With a focus on innovation, businesses are coached to invigorate their practices to secure growth.
Manufacturing Matters aims to promote personal growth for business leaders with our regular Manufacturing Connections events.
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