Digital technologies transforming Scottish manufacturing

Manufacturers are taking advantage of new digital technologies to transform how they do business, according to Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson.

Digital manufacturing – “the fourth industrial revolution” – presents a significant opportunity for Scottish SMEs to grow, deliver enhanced productivity and compete internationally, added David Jones, chief executive of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre.

“Today’s manufacturers are focused on becoming even more productive and are increasingly taking advantage of new digital technologies to transform how they do business,” said Wilson. “This focus is helping the sector compete globally and will see the industry go from strength to strength as it exports more products to more markets around the world.”

“Driving efficiency will be absolutely crucial to helping Scottish manufacturers compete on the global stage,” added Jones. They were speaking  at the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) conference in Cumbernauld today.

Scottish manufacturing firms have achieved record annual efficiency savings of £28m with the support of Scottish Enterprise, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work. Keith Brown said at the conference. Building on last year’s success, SMAS has continued to support 202 Scottish manufacturing companies to  complete business improvement projects.

“Manufacturing continues to be a vital component of our economy and driver of future prosperity,” said Brown. “It represents over half of Scotland’s international exports and our investment in research and development, employing 190,000 people, and it is vital that the future of the sector is protected amid the on-going uncertainty about our relationship with the EU.

“That is why the Scottish Government is firmly committed to supporting the sector and is working with public and private sector partners to deliver the ambitions of our manufacturing action plan –A Manufacturing Future for Scotland.

“The Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service forms a vital part of our support for the sector and working through this service, Scottish Enterprise has helped to deliver record efficiency improvements and productivity gains of £113 million over three years to the 202 manufacturing businesses it supports helping them innovate and identify where they need to invest to build their global competitiveness.”