Boeing confirms opening of its first European site in the UK
The new factory, based in Shef...
The US-based aircraft giants, Boeing, has announced the unveiling of the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe.
The new factory, based in Sheffield in the UK, is set to produce thousands of parts a month which will be shipped for assembly at Boeing’s Portland facility in Oregon in the US.
Following the launch of the facility, it will make manufacture actuation system components for the 737 and 767 jets from raw materials sourced in the UK.
Jenette Ramos, Boeing senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations, said: “We appreciate all the community support for Boeing’s new advanced manufacturing factory in the UK. This is a fabulous example of how we are engaging global talent to provide greater value to our customers.”
“In Boeing Sheffield, we are building on longstanding relationships and the region’s manufacturing expertise to enhance our production system and continue to connect, protect, explore and inspire aerospace innovation.”
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With a total investment of $51mn, the 6,200-square-metre building sees the world’s aircraft giants located in the middle of Sheffield’s Global Innovation Corridor.
“Boeing choosing the heart of South Yorkshire as its first European home is testament to our capabilities, talent pool and strong manufacturing supply chains which are vital to job creation and creating value for local economies,” said Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary.
“We are leading the world in UK aerospace manufacturing and through our modern Industrial Strategy, we, along with industry have committed to invest £3.9 billion in aerospace”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.