May 16, 2020

How the Heathrow airport expansion could boost UK’s manufacturing

Sophie Chapman
1 min
Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK voted on 25 June in favour of expanding the nation’s largest airport.

With a 296-member majority, 415 MPs voted...

Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK voted on 25 June in favour of expanding the nation’s largest airport.

With a 296-member majority, 415 MPs voted to build a third runway London’s Heathrow airport, against 199 votes.

It is anticipated that the £14bn (US$18.6bn) runway could generate 100,000 new jobs in the UK, as well as generating £74bn ($100bn) for the country’s economy.

The expansion is also expected to help trade, benefitting manufacturers through exports, through new access to international routes.


The manufacturing organization, the EEF, has dubbed the runway in a blog post as a “good sign that post-Brexit Britain is still open for business.”

“Heathrow is a global freight hub, providing significant freight capacity for Britain’s exporters right across the country,” stated Chris Richards, EEF’s Head of Business Environment Policy.

“The dense global route connectivity from Heathrow ensures this freight capacity is provided in a cost effective way at a significant advantage for British based exporters.”

The expansion project intends to increase the airport’s capacity from 85.5mn to 130mn.

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Jun 16, 2021 x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

2 min and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines. 


According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.


What Sets Apart? 

After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.  


  • Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions. 
  • Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately. 
  • Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations. 


How Voice Automation Works

Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production. 


‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’. 


Future Global Adoption 

In the coming years, BSH and will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier. 


Said Probal Lala,’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’. 



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