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The association, which will be at the event, taking place from 7 – 11 April at the NEC in Birmingham, will emphasise the importance for Britain to maintain a technological competitive edge.
The Manufacturing Technology Association (MTA) believes that 2014 is set to be a bumper year for the machining tools market and related equipment, predicting solid growth over and above the levels reached in 2012 and 2013. Machine tools are used across engineering and throughout the manufacturing of composite materials, alongside other aspects of manufacturing technology such as metrology (measuring) equipment and computer aided design and manufacturing systems (CAD/CAM). Innovation in this area will be essential for the future success of British industry, and MACH, MTA says, will present the ideal platform for visitors to see the latest developments first-hand.
Composites are becoming more important in manufacturing, particularly in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Engineers are increasingly looking at composites as an alternative to aluminium airframes as they look to improve the efficiency of fuel consumption and aerodynamic performance of new aircraft. MACH exhibitor Airbus for example, has been working with the National Composites Centre to research new industrial designs and materials. Its latest plane, the A350, benefits from lightweight carbon fibre composites for both its fuselage and wings.
In addition to being extremely strong and lightweight, the use of composites also opens up other potential savings. Composites mean that manufacturers can get a good surface finish to optimise aerodynamic performance, for example.
“Innovation is arguably the most powerful weapon composite manufacturers have in their armoury to achieve competitive advantage,” says Graham Dewhurst, Director General, MTA. “Innovative manufacturers are more productive and typically grow at twice the rate of those that fail to innovate. They also tend to be more competitive, and respond better to change. Quite simply, if a company doesn’t make time for innovation, its prospects for success and long-term viability as a commercial concern are slim.”
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