UK manufacturing soars on the back of weak sterling and strong global economy
UK manufacturing firms reported that both their total and export order books had strengthened to multi-decade highs in June, according to the CBI’s latest Industrial Trends Survey.
The survey of 464 manufacturers found that total order books climbed to the highest level since August 1988.
This was underpinned by a broad-based improvement in 13 of the 17 sub-sectors, led by the food, drink & tobacco and chemicals sectors. Export orders also improved to a 22-year high, hitting similar peaks to those seen in 2011 and 2013.
Output growth eased to the levels seen at the start of the year, on the back of slowdowns in the chemicals and mechanical engineering sectors, but remained robust historically. Firms expect a firm rise in production over the coming quarter.
But pricing pressures remain strong, with manufacturers continuing to expect a sharp rise in average selling prices, in line with the level seen last month. Stock adequacy dipped marginally, remaining below average.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to see demand for “Made in Britain” goods rise with the temperature. Total and export order books are at highs not seen for decades, and output growth remains robust.
“Nevertheless, with cost pressures remaining elevated it’s no surprise to see that manufacturers continue to have high expectations for the prices they plan to charge.
“To build the right future for Britain’s economy, manufacturers and workers, the Government must put the economy first as it negotiates the country’s departure from the EU. This approach will deliver a deal that supports growth and raises living standards across the UK.”
- 27% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, and 12% said they were below normal, giving a rounded balance of +16%. This was the highest level seen in nearly three decades, since August 1988 (+17%)
- 23% of firms said their export order books were above normal, and 10% said they were below normal, giving a balance of +13%. This was the highest balance since June 1995 (+20%)
- 30% of businesses said the volume of output over the past three months was up, and 15% said it was down, giving a balance of +15% - a decline from the balance of +28% seen in May
- Manufacturers expect output to grow at the same robust pace in the coming quarter, with 37% predicting growth, and 9% a decline, giving a rounded balance of +27%
- Average selling prices are still expected to rise in line with the level seen in May (+23%), having eased from their peak in February (+32%)
- 13% of firms said their present stocks of finished goods are more than adequate, whilst 11% said they were less adequate, giving a balance of +2%, remaining below the average (+13%).
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.