Local manufacturers help Made Smarter reach major milestone

Date published: 26 November 2021

Local manufacturers have helped Made Smarter’s trailblazing technology adoption programme in the North West mark its third anniversary by reaching a major milestone.

Made Smarter has now supported its 200th business to invest in technology to drive growth and decarbonise through digitalisation. This includes 49 SME manufacturers in Greater Manchester who have secured £1.1m matched funding for 63 projects, worth £3.8m after private sector investment. 

These investments are forecasting the creation of 264 new jobs and 436 upskilled roles, and are forecast to deliver an additional £44.5M in gross value added (GVA) for the Greater Manchester regional economy over the next three years.

MSM aerospace fabricators, an advanced engineering company in Middleton, which has already experienced the benefits of Made Smarter support, is taking the next step in its digitalisation journey, whilst Heywood-based GJD Manufacturing, which makes perimeter security and surveillance devices, has invested in data and systems integration technology.

Aerospace fabricator MSM worked with Made Smarter to invest in digital twin technology to redesign its new factory and unlock production and capacity planning in the future. Then, after engaging with Made Smarter’s Fast Track Additive Manufacturing training programme, MSM secured support for a second project to invest in a 3D printer.


Michael Pedley, managing director of MSM aerospace
Michael Pedley, managing director of MSM aerospace


Michael Pedley, managing director of MSM, said: "After purchasing additive manufacturing services for a number of years we saw the opportunity to bring that expertise in-house. The Fast Track programme helped develop the design and engineering skills we needed and now we have adopted the technology to assist our R&D and new product introduction programmes. MSM is committed to further adoption of Industry 4.0 technology.”

Mark Tibbenham, managing director of GJD, said: “Over the next three years our aim is to double our turnover and profit by developing new products, becoming digitally smart and growing our export markets.

"With the support of Made Smarter we have been able to source and seamlessly roll out a new ERP and MRP system which has resulted in significant improvements to our manufacturing efficiency as well as stock control. This in turn has freed up cash for new R&D investments.”


Mark Tibbenham, Managing Director of GJD Manufacturing
Mark Tibbenham, managing director of GJD Manufacturing


Since launching in 2018, Made Smarter has engaged with 1,381 businesses from every corner of the region to help them introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth, navigate Covid-19, and tackle climate change.

Over 80% of SMEs working with Made Smarter to adopt cutting-edge technologies have seen a boost in productivity, while others have benefited from increase in revenue and exports, job creation and providing new skills to workforces, as well as improved visibility and enhanced integration with supply chains.

More than 25% reduced their carbon emissions, while others cut energy bills, reduced waste, and became more environmentally sustainable.

For more information, visit www.madesmarter.uk.

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