The Knowledge Hub

The Knowledge Hub

Tuesday 5th April 2022

Morning session:


Opening presentation by The High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC)


Katy Riddington, Skills & SME Director HVM Catapult


HVMC will be opening the conference programme with an overview of the current situation facing UK manufacturing.



Bringing Intelligence to Manufacturing from SMB to Gigaplants


Andrew Kinder SVP, Industry & Solution Strategy Sales, infor/ David Threlfall, CIO of Britishvolt


As manufacturers of all sizes seek to take advantage of increasing digitisation, connectivity and automation, what technologies available today will help you take advantage?  This panel explores some of the most impactful technologies for smarter manufacturing and supply chains and the role of data in solving old problems in new ways.  The session also includes a Q&A with David Threlfall, CIO of Britishvolt who will soon complete the production of the UK’s first Gigaplant in Northumberland.

Afternoon Session:


Robotics and Automation: A New Perspective


Mike Wilson Manufacturing Technology Centre Chief Automation Officer


The adoption of robotics and automation in the UK continues to lag the progress being made in all major countries throughout the world. The MTC has recently concluded a study which identifies recommendations to address this situation. We are now looking to work with all stakeholders to develop actions to accelerate the adoption of robot solutions to ensure our future prosperity.



How to Minimise Machine Asset Downtime with Sensor-Based Solutions


Martin Sime, IIOT Systems Engineering Manager, Sensata


As machines have become smarter and more intuitive as part of the digital transformation initiatives in factories, so has the need to accurately monitor their health, efficiency, and performance. Join this session to learn more about how you can minimise machine downtime in your industrial setting with new and smart sensor-based solutions, which help reduce operational costs, increase productivity, and optimise performance in smart factory and smart building applications.



Wake up to Automation


Nikesh Mistry, Sector Head for Industrial Automation, GAMBICA


It is clear that a dramatic increase in investment in robotics and automation will be essential if the UK is to remain competitive and achieve the productivity levels required to attain the growth needed to sustain our economy. This seminar will set out the positive impact that future investment in automation and robotics can have on UK competitiveness.



Safe Human Robot Collaboration


Jamie Thomas CMSE (TÜV Certified Machinery Safety Expert) CECE (TÜV Certified Expert CE Marking) - Pilz Automation Technology


The increased interest and adoption of collaborative robots, also known as cobots, is being driven partly by the digital revolution. Many of the benefits of using cobots are very similar to those of traditional industrial robots: repeatability, accuracy, productivity, whereas the question of safety requires some careful consideration as new safety concepts permitting or foreseeing actual human-cobot collision have emerged. As with most dynamic situations, realisation of a safe and compliant application must be done on a case-by-case basis.



Cost Savings in Vacuum and Compression


Rolf Hilfiker, CEO of Pneumofore

When it comes to the supply of compressed air and vacuum for industrial applications, operational costs can have a huge impact over the years above the initial investment. In this seminar, we will focus on all the key factors that should drive the purchasing evaluation in order to make a better choice in terms of predictable operational costs and the lower TCO.

Wednesday 6th April 2022

Morning Session:


Asset Management and Maintenance of Fixed Plant Items - the Conventions, Legislation and Statutory Duties


Martin Barnes, Technical Engineer - Ambipar Response/ Society of Operation Engineers (SOE)


The main focus of this presentation is fixed asset management and maintenance of fixed plant items, the conventions, legislation and statutory duties associated with production plant and machinery. As part of this seminar, Martin Barnes, will discuss the management system his company uses to track physical and maintain physical assets across three different UK sites and the upset incorrect data causes during audits etc.



Government Support to Help Companies Develop High Efficiency Drives Using Advanced Semiconductors


Andy Sellars, Strategic Development Director, CSA Catapult


This presentation describes a recent project to develop UK supply chains of SiC for power conversion applications. It describes support for industry from UK government, including funding through the Industrial Strategy, and describes the Catapult’s role in helping companies adopt new technologies as part of their ‘Net Zero’ strategy.

Afternoon session:


Energy Efficiency Gains in Compressed Air Systems


Vanda Jones, executive director of The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS)


Generating compressed air can be very energy intensive, representing as much as 30% of a site’s total electricity bill.  Vanda Jones, Executive Director at BCAS will discuss the Society’s latest drive to empower end-users to reduce their compressed air energy consumption – detailing the launch of the Society’s new compressed air energy saving initiative.



Unlock the Advantages of Safety and Reliability Strategy Alignment


Colin Duncan, CEO, SEAM Group


Companies that align their safety, maintenance, and reliability strategies unlock a dynamic optimisation and cultural potential for their people and assets. This seminar looks at how organisations are successfully creating this alignment while also reducing unplanned downtime and reactive maintenance. It also looks at how are they implementing high-performing predictive maintenance programmes that yield cost and operational optimisation.


Using Git for PLC Workflows: New Approaches


Darren Henry, VP of Marketing, Copia Automation


Until now, code development for industrial automation has not been able to take advantage of modern DevOps processes that have transformed traditional software development, due to the visual nature of PLC programming and the variety of development environments. New solutions are aiming to change this, with tools tailor-built for controls and automation engineers.



Energy Efficiency in Motor Driven Pump Systems


Gary Wilde, Technical Services Manager, BPMA


Against the backdrop of rising electricity costs, this presentation will look at why so much energy is wasted in motor driven pump systems. It will consider poor system design, incorrect pump selection, inefficient pump controls and the lack of regular pump & system maintenance. The addition of variable speed drives, the use of highly efficient motors and whether it is worth replacing old pumps with newer designs, and the importance of adopting a complete system approach, when assessing and improving energy efficiency, will also be addressed.



A Simple Guide to Sensors for Safeguarding of Machinery


Jason Reed CMSE (TÜV Certified Machinery Safety Expert) CECE (TÜV Certified Expert CE Marking) - Pilz Automation Technology


With so many options on the market to safeguard machinery, selecting the optimum solution for both safety and productivity can be a complex exercise.  This seminar will outline the latest technology solutions and their pros and cons for different applications. 


Predictive Maintenance Best Practices and Solutions


Niall Sullivan, VP Marketing, Senseye


This seminar will look at Predictive Maintenance (PM) best practices and dive into the different phases of PM projects. It will also explain why some businesses fail and why others succeed based on practical cases.

Thursday 7th April 2022

Morning session:


Using Condition Monitoring to Improve Plant Reliability


Dean Whittle, Senior Reliability Engineer, RMS Reliability


Monitoring the condition of machinery with condition monitoring techniques is an essential part of any cost reduction (and safety improvement) programme. But are we doing enough simply monitoring condition? This animated presentation provides a brief overview of various condition monitoring (CM) techniques.

Afternoon session:


Automation Trends in the UK


Nikesh Mistry, Sector Head for Industrial Automation, GAMBICA


AI, robotics and other forms of smart automation have the potential to bring great economic benefits, potentially contributing billions of Pounds to the UK economy. This seminar will talk about the most significant technological achievements over the past year and illustrate promising trends for the future in the field of automation.


Dynamic States of Safety


Alex Bryce CMSE (TÜV Certified Machinery Safety Expert) CECE (TÜV Certified Expert CE Marking) - Pilz Automation Technology


Traditionally a safe state on a machine is when it is stopped and there is no movement, however, this can impede productivity. Whilst absolute standstill is still necessary in the majority of cases, where a risk assessment permits and the required technical measures are feasible (such as safe mode selection, safe speed detection etc), a case can be made for allowing equipment to run without necessarily stopping it during human-machine interventions (such as machine setting up and fault-finding).  This seminar will describe the various safety functions designated in IEC 61800-5-2 and some of the technologies available to realise them to the adequate safety level.