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    • Workspace/Meeting Zone
    The Subcon Innovation Zone
  1. The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    • West Midlands Health Technology Innovation Accelerator (WMHTIA) briefing.
    • MTC is supporting 20 medical companies on behalf of the Accelerator to design Manufacturing and supply chain solutions.
    • We are looking for partners, please get in touch …
    • Workshop
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    Join us for an engaging and informative session where you can meet the digital transformation specialists from the Made Smarter West Midlands team!

    This session offers a unique opportunity to learn about the latest digital advancements in manufacturing and how they can drive innovation and efficiency in your business. Our team of experts will share insights into cutting-edge technologies, funding opportunities, and practical support available to manufacturers in the region.

    Whether you're looking to enhance productivity, adopt new technologies, or simply connect with industry peers, this workshop is the perfect platform to kickstart your journey towards a smarter, more sustainable future. Don't miss out on this chance to network, gain valuable knowledge, and take the first step towards transforming your manufacturing processes.

  2. The Subcon Innovation Zone
    Use this dedicated workspace for arranging meetings with suppliers or catching up with colleagues
  3. Workshops & Learning Space
    Use this dedicated workspace for arranging meetings with suppliers or catching up with colleagues
    • Workshop
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    When encountering obsolete or unavailable electronic components, the dilemma arises: should you redesign or explore alternative solutions? Our panel will guide attendees through various strategies, highlighting how the optimal approach can vary across different industry sectors.

    By choosing the correct strategy, companies can not only mitigate the risks associated with obsolete components but also turn these challenges into competitive advantage in terms of cost, sustainability, and time to market.

    We'll investigate how the supply chain can impact sustainability and the Circular Economy and explore their roles in effective obsolescence management.

    In our discussion, we'll examine whether REACH and other chemical compliance initiatives can create new opportunities for subcontractors in your supply chain.

    Join our debate as experts from the International Institute of Obsolescence Management UK dive into these crucial topics and offer valuable insights.

    • Workshop
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    In this dynamic and empowering session on executing through high performance, participants will gain insights into the common causes of team dysfunction and the strategies to overcome them. Through exploring of poor communication, lack of trust, and conflicting goals and priorities, attendees will grasp the root causes of team challenges and learn how to address them effectively. With a focus on the role of leadership, this talk will unpack the actions leaders can implement to foster a cohesive and high-performing team culture. Armed with practical tools and knowledge, attendees will leave equipped to cultivate a positive and productive team dynamic, driving success and achievement.

    3 take aways:
    - Practical tools to implement in each level of the 5Dysfncutsion model by Patrick Lencioni.
    - In depth understanding of how to create an engaged and productive working environment
    - Reflection on the type of environment you as a leader have created for your team

    • Product and Solution Innovation
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    Listen, learn and ask questions in our quick fire innovation spotlight sessions. 

    Subcon innovation showcase 

    For example:  

    • Alternative materials for products and packaging 
    • Robotics
    • Smart factory technologies 
    • Innovations in additive manufacturing 
    • High temperature materials production 
    • Recycled and recyclable options 
    • Workshop
    Workshops & Learning Space
    • Bringing together start-ups with larger companies 

    • Accessing top quality talent   

    • Apprenticeships and community connections to inspire young engineers 

    • Encouraging skills development in older workers 

    • Exploring diverse sources for finding new employees 

    • The team from SheCanEngineer will be facilitating a discussion around the business case for diverse teams and the power of mentoring in building inclusive work environments. 

    • Roundtable
    Workshops & Learning Space

    In this interactive session, Engineers Without Borders UK will present findings from their research through their Systems Change Lab run jointly with the Royal Academy of Engineering. Participants will have the opportunity to provide an industry perspective on what UK engineering degrees need to deliver to meet current skills gaps. Insights from the session will feed into on-going work to re-shape engineering degrees.

    • Panel Discussion
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    An opportunity to gain insight from Senior Operations and OpEx Leaders. Sharing real experiences over the past 25 years from varying industries. Experiences that worked well (and not so well!)

  4. Workshops & Learning Space
    Sharing a picture of the future of the UK automotive sector, the role of different powertrain technologies in our decarbonisation journey, and interesting areas of innovation happening today.  
    • Roundtable
    Workshops & Learning Space
    • With the EU implementing carbon border adjustment mechanisms, the UK is expected to implement a similar system to prevent carbon leakage. This has the potential to have a significant impact on manufacturing.  This session will discuss how manufacturers can prepare to track the carbon footprint of certain input materials, such as steel and aluminium. 

    • The EU is working on an LCA framework for the automotive industry lca4tran (, expected to be completed in 2025. The expectation is that the carbon accounting seen in the battery regulation will be rolled out across the entire vehicle. While clarity on LCA is welcome, carrying out LCA across an entire supply chain comes with significant challenges.  We will discuss the positive and negative impacts of CBAM in Europe and UK.

    • Workshop
    Workshops & Learning Space

    Managing VAT and Customs obligations is a necessary action all manufacturers need to undertake.  Since Brexit the impact of taxes, duties and other reporting obligations has expanded to be relevant to all cross border movements of goods.  Crowe UK will share its experience and expertise to help you with: 

    • Key points to check and understand before moving goods 

    • Ways to optimise cash flow impacts and overall costs 

    • News on current and upcoming changes to be aware of 

    • Workshop
    Workshops & Learning Space

    Attendees will gain a clearer understanding of: 

    • Where to invest in automation in their factories 

    • When is best 

    • Which solutions work for which problems 

    • How ROA + ROI thinking helps 

    • A model to make great choices 

    • 5 killer questions to ask yourself 

    • Roundtable
    Workshops & Learning Space

    AMPI is an industry led initiative to stimulate and support rapid growth of the UK’s machinery manufacturing sector, designed to support a coherent supply chain from research through to implementation.   

    This interactive workshop session will examine the challenges, barriers, and enablers to developing a UK supply chain for advanced machinery.  

    The session will incorporate a road mapping group exercise, which will develop machinery roadmaps to influence R&D portfolios. 

    • Workshop
    Workshops & Learning Space
    • A practical and dynamic workshop designed to explore how you can embed sustainable business practices within your value chains, from sourcing raw materials to product end-of-life cycles, in sectors like aerospace, automotive, rail, and medical.

    • Generate innovative ideas for new product design and how sourcing alternative raw materials can reduce environmental and social impacts.

    • Gain insights into the environmental and social impacts of products across every part of a manufacturing value chain.
    • Understand the importance of mapping your value chain to achieve business success.
    • Understand how using strategic business tools like value chain mapping play an important role in embedding sustainable business practices in your operations.
    • Roundtable
    Workshops & Learning Space

    Supply chains are constantly at risk, and problems can cause serious harm to exporters. You need to know the risks you can predict, those you can't, and how to secure against all of them. 

    Engaging with attendees, the discussion will cover: 

    • Black Swan events: how to ensure unforeseen events don’t disrupt your supply chain. 

    • Past is prologue: old solutions to modern problems. 

    • The limits (and utilities) of supply chain risk management tools. 

    • Why taking smaller risks to protect against greater ones is vital knowledge that's too rare to ignore. 

    • Protection against bad debt: assessing international credit risks while forging supply chain safeguards. 

    • Simplification: saving time and money. Complexity is not always beneficial. 

    As an attendee, whether you're already exporting or considering it, you'll emerge from this session with essential, often overlooked methods that will sustain and grow your supply chain, and boost your firm's productivity. 

    • Workshop
    Workshops & Learning Space

    How to create a structured framework between daily management, breakthrough changes and strategy deployment involving the people and developing their culture and capabilities. 

    • Hoshin planning and review to get management direction and commitment: How will we manage the business to achieve breakthrough results?
    • Value stream analysis to attain breakthrough results: How will we design and implement breakthrough improvement initiatives?
    • Daily management to change behaviours and company culture: How will we develop improvement behaviours and sustain improvements?
    • Roundtable
    Workshops & Learning Space

    Building successful careers in manufacturing:  Showcasing real life stories! 
    Natalia Adamson will be joining engineers from the manufacturing industry to discuss key components of a healthy work environment and explore how a positive work environment can drive innovation and enhance efficiency in manufacturing processes.

    Carrie Stafford will share her own personal journey and discuss how to encourage younger professionals into the steel industry. 

    • Presentations and Q&A discussion
    Workshops & Learning Space

    The Challenger 3 team at Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) is delivering the most advanced battle tank in NATO within budget and on schedule. DE&S and the British Army announced that they have approved the Critical Design Review ahead of schedule, marking a great success! Given current threats, the Army needs tanks on, or preferably ahead of, schedule.

    With support from the BAE Systems Corporate PM Function, RBSL has adopted Critical Chain Project Management, supported by Goldratt UK, to ensure adherence to the schedule.

    • Workshop
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    - Attracting a younger and more diverse workforce into manufacturing

    - The team from SheCanEngineer will be facilitating a discussion around the business case for diverse teams and the power of mentoring in building inclusive work environments.

    • Roundtable
    The Subcon Innovation Zone
    • New materials, proof of strengths 

    • Additive manufacturing  materials characterization 

    • Sector Focus Peer to Peer Meetings
    Workshops & Learning Space

    Join this interactive discussion group where Luke will share insights from SMMT membership research.

    • Where is the automotive industry heading?  
    • What are the priorities for development?
    • Your next steps for getting involved with the automotive sector - what are the key factors for success?
    • How can the SMMT support collaborative partnerships within the automotive supply chain
    • Workshop
    The Subcon Innovation Zone

    Unlike other easily replicable processes, tube deformation is a complex manufacturing process requiring continuous research, material knowledge, and understanding of mechanical reactions. This workshop will delve into a compelling case study showcasing a production line's endeavour to achieve fully automated manufacturing of an aluminium tube component (entailing high productivity and tight tolerances), starting from raw material processing, including accessories insertion, marking, and quality inspection. 

    - Complexity Mastery: - understand nuances in tube deformation
    - Automation Advancement - explore achieving high productivity with tight tolerances
    - Material Insight - learn the significance of continuous research and material knowledge
    - Case Study Spotlight - analyse a journey towards fully automated production

  5. The Subcon Innovation Zone

    This session aims to give participants an overview of modern simulation practices for composites engineering and the breadth of insight it can yield across the product lifecycle. Simulation allows many more candidate designs to be considered than would be possible through manufacturing test samples, providing significantly more information about a process. The talk will cover techniques and methodologies as well as some practical examples of applying these. Participants will come out with a deeper understanding of composites simulation, where to begin for those who are new to simulation and some advanced methods for those who are already heavy users. 

    • Understanding the role of simulation in modern composites engineering 
    • How simulation can be used to improve performance throughout the lifecycle of a component 
    • Using simulation to understand the impact of process uncertainty, such as raw material variability and machine variation 
    • How to undertake digital prototyping to accelerate the design process and give confidence in manufacturing processes 
    • Practical example of applying these tools and techniques to real cases 
    • Workshop
    Workshops & Learning Space
    • What changes are necessary to integrate additive manufacturing into production workflows? 

    • Design processes and factory interfaces 

    • Where can small batch ordering reduce inventory levels and create efficiencies 

    • Contract manufacturing v in-house capability 

  6. The Subcon Innovation Zone

    Categories including: 

    • Start-up of the Year

    • UK Manufacturing Partner of the Year 

    • International Manufacturing Partner of the Year 

    • Product Innovation of the Year

    • Outstanding Industry Contribution 

    • Roundtable
    The Subcon Innovation Zone


    • Overcoming the hurdles
    • Hurdles to adoption
    • Use case identification
  7. The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    Your time to mingle with visitors and exhibitors! 
    • Panel Discussion
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    • How can you support sustainability throughout your supply chain? 

    • Assessing the impact of disruptive technologies on people and process, and overcoming barriers to adoption 

    • Ensuring the technology enhances the human input, and adapts to human needs 

    • Putting global responsibility at the heart of engineering, ensuring a safe and just future for all 

    • Delivering the next generation of global leaders in industrial decarbonisation 

    • Roundtable
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    Industry is experiencing increasingly challenging skills shortages. Join this session to hear about practical ways in which you can develop relationships with future recruits and build the skills of your future workforce. We’ll be looking at different approaches that would suit all sizes of organisation and sharing ideas for where you can get practical support for delivery from. 

    There will be an opportunity to find out about  

    • Engaging with schools 

    • Offering work experience 

    • T levels 

    • Apprenticeships 

    • How you can work with local training providers to support your skills needs 

    • Panel Discussion
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    Country experts will share their insights on the practical considerations for doing business with a selection of key regions, including focus on import/export requirements, logistics, supply chain resilience and development opportunities. 

    • Building quality relationships with manufacturing partners 

    • New sources for suppliers – finding reliable and qualified subcontractors 

    • Assessing the impact of increasing demands from customers for transparency, digitalisation and improved tracking 

    • What resources are available to support finding new international manufacturing partners?  

    • Presentations and Q&A discussion
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    This is COREF:  The Connected Reconfigurable Factory.  As an Innovate UK Aerospace Technology Institute funded project, the main aim of COREF was to enable cost effective capability of digital technologies for smaller manufacturers with complex, batch manufacturing who previously have found it hard to justify investment in Industry 4.0 technologies. 
    • Workshop
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    • How to make efficiencies in low volume manufacturing 

    • Where will AI optimise manufacturing processes? 

    • Cutting energy costs and reducing waste 

    • Standardisation and streamlining of legacy systems 

    • How digital twins are transforming the manufacturing industry  (JLL) 

    • Keynote
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    • Developing skills and expertise for an agile workforce
    • Preparing for the cultural shifts required from the evolution into smart factories
    • Global partnerships and collaboration for market access and innovation
    • What are the trends for smarter cost management, increased use of sustainable materials and resilient supply chains
    • How will UK supply chains be impacted by increasing ‘on-demand’ manufacturing?
    • Expectations of UK and Government policies and incentives
  8. The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
  9. The Subcon Innovation Zone

    This is a practical, non-banking related session to help inform UK companies about the latest trends and strategies for international trading. 

    • What manufacturers are thinking, planning, and doing.
    • What opportunities are available and where.
    • What tools and help are available to support UK companies with their international trading and growth ambitions.
    • Roundtable
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    We will share an understanding of the challenges involved in commercialising an innovative product idea and how to avoid them, as well as a roadmap to follow to take your own concept and commercialise it successfully. 

    • What does it mean to take a product from the back of a napkin idea to success in the global marketplace? 

    • How to finance development of disruptive technologies 

    • Working collaboratively to co-develop new tech 

    • IP and patent management  

    • Roundtable
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    The session will provide valuable insights into leveraging digital supply chain tools for enhanced efficiency and transparency, with working examples from Thyssenkrupp Materials UK. Additionally, it will help with developing an understanding of the significance of accurate product carbon footprint calculations, empowering manufacturers to make informed decisions towards reducing their environmental impact and achieving sustainability goals. 

    • Unlocking efficiency through digital control tower solutions in supply chains 

    • Understanding the critical factors impacting manufacturers' carbon footprints 

    • The first DNV certified Product Carbon Footprint Calculator 

    • Presentations and Q&A discussion
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    In today’s dynamic business landscape, forging strong and lasting partnerships between manufacturing suppliers and buyers is crucial. The panel will explore the critical factors that ensure top-quality, long-term collaborations. 

    • Joint business planning and shared long-term strategies for mutual growth and innovation 

    • Balancing price and quality: Negotiating fair pricing while maintaining product excellence 

    • Leveraging technology: Assessing suppliers’ adaptability and tech utilization 

    • Scalability and stability: Ensuring suppliers can meet increasing demand without compromising quality 

    • Trust and transparency: Building trust through reliability and consistent communication 

    • Security:  Ensuring your digital links are cyber-safe 

    • Presentations and Q&A discussion
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    Join this session to gain practical understanding of how cutting edge technologies are being applied in manufacturing.  

    You will gain appreciation for role of digital supply chain systems in overall digitalisation of your business. Industry 4.0 discussions will explore approaches for targeted technology adoption to achieve highest impact across your entire value chain. 

    • Learn how to use the Smart Industry Readiness Index to prioritise your digitalisation efforts to maximise return on investment for your organisation 

    • How is technology driving supply chain optimisation and lead time reduction? 

    • Real world examples where Industry 4.0 technologies are already making tangible impact in manufacturing

    • Panel Discussion
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    Most businesses know they have to automate—the question is how and when. With their extensive experience in automation, our panel will discuss the practical steps to getting started and how businesses can get the most out of automation and robot technology, including how to source reliable subcontractors. 
    • Roundtable
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre

    Peer discussion and knowledge sharing about key success factors for successful large scale (1 year +)  digital transformation projects. Sharing ideas in interactive round tables, you will learn from your peers about their successful digital transformation projects and you will understand key success factors behind these projects. 

    • Key Success Factors for Digital Transformation
    • Common Obstacles to Digital Transformation and How to Overcome Them
    • Quantifying the Business Value of Your Digital Transformation Program
    • Presentation and Challenge Session
    The Manufacturing Insights Theatre
    • Balancing the drive to reshoring with costs and availability 

    • New developments in UK supplier expertise (markets, new manufacturing facilities) 

    • Where are manufacturers struggling to source equipment, machinery and skills 

    • Reshoring and offshoring – current trends