Following the news that British manufacturing output has increased at its fastest rate since the mid-1990s, please see commentary from energy management specialist, Schneider Electric below.

Martin Walder, VP Industry at Schneider Electric says:

“It’s a welcome sight to see British manufacturing output increase at its fastest rate since 1995, but we cannot rest on our laurels. The need to create a smarter more efficient industrial environment must still remain a priority. In fact, the health and longevity of the sector on a global level relies on it.

“Costs continue to rise, vital engineering expertise is retiring out of the workforce, and existing automation control systems are slowly becoming obsolete and failing to deliver on the promise of the smart future the industry so desperately needs.

“To resolve these ongoing challenges, continued efforts around education and investment in technology is critical to help UK manufacturing compete with other major economies, who have far exceeded our adoption of robotics and autonomous systems thus far.

“Plans for a new modern industrial strategy, paired with investment in England’s technical education system are therefore critical components of a plan to change that. These were called out in the recent Queen’s Speech along with a focus on skilling for technology-centric jobs which are welcome steps to supports a move towards AI, robotics and automation. 

“Only when these investments are channeled in the right way, can we expect to see greater improvements in efficiency and profitability, cyber security and performance. These factors combined will spur on current success and fuel the progress of UK industry in the long term.”