Subcon adds to the UK manufacturing picture

Jason Ford - News Editor, The EngineerJason Ford
News editor


This week we can see the fast pace of additive manufacturing technology development, while the upcoming Subcon show will provide a window into the subcontractor manufacturing sector

It’s been an interesting year so far in the world of additive manufacturing, with innovations being made at the prototype and product-ready end of the ALM spectrum.

In January DMG Mori gave visitors to its Open House event in Pfronten a look at the ‘proper parts’ that can be made with the Lasertec 65 3D, a hybrid machine with additive manufacturing capabilities built into a 5-axis milling machine, whilst April saw Stratasys break cover on the full-colour, J750 rapid prototyping machine.

The J750 produces product-matching designs using up to six print materials and a choice of over 360,000 colours with no finishing requirements when part has been built.

This morning we reported on how AM parts are being custom built by Renishaw for the Robot Bike Company’s R160 mountain bike frame, and the opening conference session at this year’s Subcon Show is equally focussed on the opportunities afford by 3D printing.

Returning to the Birmingham NEC, Subcon – the 40 year-old show for the subcontracting manufacturing supply chain – is hosting over 400 UK and overseas suppliers eager to do business. In fact, research conducted by Subcon has found that the outlook for British subcontractor manufacturers is largely positive with the volume of work increasing and more contracts being re-shored from low-cost economies.

For this year’s show, the recently formed Manufacturing Hub will be joining the Engineering Industries Association and High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the event’s Advisory Drop-In Centre, a place where SMEs can gain access to expert advice on a range of business-related issues including skills, innovation, access to finance, and building business in export markets.

This year’s conference strand will see a range of speakers deliver industry specific talks, including Adam Ellis, a post-doctoral research associate at Sheffield University who will discuss high volume additive manufacturing on Day One; Duc Truong Pham, Chance Professor of Engineering at Birmingham University who will be talking about remanufacturing as a key for driver for sustainability on Day Two; closing on Day 3 with a panel discussion aiming to identify the skills gap within the workplace.

Subcon takes place at Birmingham NEC between June 7-9. There’s still time to register for a free e-badge and be entered into a prize draw to win Amazon vouchers.