CBI survey shows UK manufacturing recovery is slow
According to the latest CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, manufacturing in the UK is off to a flat start. Some of the key findings during Q4 of 2015 were:
- New domestic and export new orders were near-flat
- Manufacturers do expect some growth in domestic new orders and output over the next quarter – export of new orders, meanwhile, is expected to remain flat
- 23% of businesses reported an increase in total new order books and 27% a decrease, giving a balance of -4% (October saw -8%)
- Competitiveness abroad deteriorated with a fourth-consecutive large fall in competitiveness in the EU (balance of -17%).
- Competitiveness outside the EU also fell (-9%), but had improved on the previous quarter (-15%)
- 25% of businesses consulted expect employment to increase, and 17% expect it to decrease, giving a balance of +8% which was a strong turnaround from October (-8%).
Doug Monro, Co-Founder of job search side Adzuna, said of these results: “Many communities and cities built on manufacturing – like Derby with its large engineering sector and Sunderland, a car manufacturing stronghold– are still dependent on the industry today.
"But not all workers are getting a fair return. Times are getting tougher for the sector. The strong pound is dampening orders from abroad, but the pound’s recent fall against the US dollar and euro mean exports to the US & Europe have promise. Closures continue to be common and overseas competition is making its mark. The uncertainty of the upcoming EU referendum is also having an impact. A quick resolution would be beneficial to stabilise industry confidence. Financial prospects are similarly dipping.
"Manufacturing workers saw a 2.9% decline in average advertised annual salaries in November to reach £29,582 – placing them in the lower section of UK earners. Despite this, the industry does have massive potential. Vacancies were up from last year to 19,091 in November. Britain’s manufacturing should be a priority – production is the pulse of the UK’s jobs sector.”
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.