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Orthopaedic manufacturer secures Made Smarter backing

An orthopaedic equipment manufacturer is the latest to secure backing from Made Smarter’s trailblazing adoption programme.

Beagle Orthopaedic, a manufacturer of braces, bespoke products and custom fabricated devices, is among the latest wave of businesses to get funding from the government-funded, industry-backed initiative.

It means 300 businesses have now received matched funding to adopt technologies as diverse as sensors, robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Blackburn-based business is expected to significantly increase productivity after investing in a CNC sewing machine to automate its 2D/manual sewing process.

Chris Williams, Design Manager said: “Technology offers us an opportunity to make more of our quality products, with the aim of improving patient outcomes, and creating a skilled workforce fit for the future and drive our sustainability goals”.

“Made Smarter helped in supporting us with a grant towards the first of our digital machines which allows the high-volume product parts to be sewn in the most efficient and consistent way possible. The new technology which will have a huge impact on the business and is the start of Beagle creating a digital strategy and roadmap for future investment.”

The 350 technology projects backed by Made Smarter over the last five years, are forecasting the creation of almost 1,600 new jobs and over 2,850 upskilled roles, and are set to add £242m to the economy over the next three years.

With the Government committing to continue the North West adoption programme as part of a UK roll out, manufacturers are being urged to connect with Made Smarter to access the funded support on offer. This includes digital transformation workshops to create a digital roadmap, impartial and expert technology advice, leadership and skills training, as well as grant funding for digital internships and technology projects.

Donna Edwards, Director of the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, said: “I am incredibly proud of what the Made Smarter team has achieved over the last five years. These milestones are simultaneously a moment to celebrate, as well as a reminder that our work is by no means done.

“Our mission is to engage with the thousands of manufacturers out there who we are certain could benefit from our support. As such we are redoubling our efforts to reach more businesses, and to inspire and inform them about the benefits of technology adoption.

“For many this may be helping them take the first step to digitise manual and paper-based systems or using sensors to capture vital production data. But for others with a digital infrastructure in place, they may be ready for more sophisticated, boundary-pushing technologies such as analytics, machine learning and AI, which are evolving at unprecedented speed.

“Digital isn’t coming – it’s arrived. Adopting technologies at the right time and in the right way is the key to unlocking real benefits for industry, society and the planet.”


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