Manufacturing -- The News

One thing is certain: whether you are LEGO, the EU, China or an aspiring interstellar manufacturer, we all have to clutch onto change… Read all about it in Augury’s round-up of some of the manufacturing-related press from the last month that caught our eye – and why it mattered. 

Change The Only Constant

Augury is proud of getting some of our own headlines of its own over the last month, such as ‘Augury Joins The World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators Community’. Indeed, we have a new opportunity to share our “unique insights on how to create real, sustainable change within the manufacturing community.”

But when historians look back on July 2021, the month’s biggest gamechanger will likely be seen as DeepMind’s data dump of the 3D structures of proteins, as described in ‘A.I. Predicts The Shapes Of Molecules To Come’. Certainly, our clients and partners in the Pharma and Chemicals industries have shared their excitement – may it be in the development of new medicines, or coming up with new pathways to make chemical processes more circular.

Big change is clearly afoot. So how equipped are you to deal with it?

Are You Equipped For Change?

How Good Is Your Company at Change?’ presents “a new system for measuring (and improving) your ability to adapt”.

If a company ranks high on the “Change Power Index”, the more likely the company will do well in terms of revenue and employee satisfaction. For example, Delta Airlines was quick to drop their middle seats during the pandemic so their passengers felt safer. They also redeployed company energy into improving their airport facilities. As a result, their profits are now eclipsing their competitors.

To rank high on the index, you must channel a strong sense of purpose and direction into your company’s internal networks while broadening your capacity for change. Then you have to choreograph, scale and develop that love through concrete actions – while staying flexible.

Sounds easy, right? (Oh, and don’t forget to get the facts, disrupt how you work and mobilize your leaders and influencers.)

Well, maybe you can just start with a shared story that’s worth retelling again and again – while not talking about change too much. “Change is hard. People don’t like change in general. The more you can get people excited about better service, the community, a better airport, the better.”

And if sticking to specifics works for airlines, it should also work for manufacturers.

Changing How Different Sectors Collaborate Together

In response to Europe’s ambitious climate plan to lower emissions by 55% by 2030, “CEOs from 11 other European companies in technology, software, manufacturing, automotive, energy, telecommunication, mining and metals, joined forces to develop a ‘zero-carbon future’ and ‘a more resilient Europe’,” according to Lean Manufacturing: What is the European CEO Alliance?.

“If we manage this historic transformation successfully, sustainable development and new future-proof jobs will be the result,” said the Alliance.

The key lies in collaboration: “In order to reach their targets, each member and sector is dependent on others, which will call for cross-sector activities.”

With recent tragic flooding across Europe, such shared efforts only seem to be galvanizing.

On Little Giants And Hidden Champions

Meanwhile… ‘China To Develop 10,000 “Little Giants” In Push For Advanced Manufacturing’.

China hopes to develop “10,000 ‘little giant’ enterprises that specialize in niche sectors and 1,000 enterprises that are champions in a single industry, as well as groups of leading companies.”

“Analysts said that these ‘hidden champions’ – exemplified by the Netherlands-based lithography equipment maker ASML – are of strategic importance to the new round of global manufacturing competition.”

Sounds ambitious. And whatever happened to those ‘Five Year Plans’? China plans to do all this in just over three years.

Astro-Manufacturing

As every self-respecting billionaire is getting blasted off into space, “Space Forge, a Bristol-based space tech startup that is designing a low-cost, reusable space satellite, has just raised funding in a seed round,” according to ‘Born In A Garage, Bristol Space Tech Startup Gets Funded To Develop A Reusable Satellite’.

While details remain sketchy, the company plans to build a manufacturing platform that can produce materials that benefit from being made in a vacuum or at absolute zero. “As per the company’s claims, the novel material would return to earth through a custom-made heatshield, landing in water.”

The long-game is to use “the vastness of space for heavy industry that pollutes the earth.” But the company better work fast before this vastness gets overpopulated by billionaires.

Meanwhile Back Down To Earth

Whether you are European, Chinese, Brit or alien, we can all agree: LEGO is one of the coolest things about planet Earth. And now: “After 72 years and billions of interlocking polymer toy bricks, at last the company has an eco-alternative,” according to ‘How LEGO Perfected The Recycled Plastic Brick‘.

“Over the past three years, LEGO’s 150-strong Sustainable Materials team has tested more than 250 variations of PET materials. The resulting prototype […] nails one of the toughest hurdles for a non-ABS brick: clutch power.”

Yes, it’s all about clutch power: how well two bricks stick together. And no plastic clutches better than ABS. “PET, on the other hand, is challenging to formulate in a manner that has the same material properties as ABS like you would find in LEGO brick. That is an exceptional polymer science challenge, for sure. This is super exciting,” says one LEGO head.

Change. Everyone’s doing it. Clutch it while you can.

Interested in reading ‘Manufacturing – The News, June 2021’?