The UK is the fourth largest economic power in the world. In May 1997, the British Labor Party came into force to this day. During the term of Prime Minister Blair, the British economy overcame the impact of unfavourable factors such as the world economic recession, and it maintained stable growth, low prices, high employment, and improved welfare.
The GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.7%. Prices were below 2%, and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest point in 30 years, achieving the most extended sustained economic growth period in the history of the United Kingdom in the past 200 years and becoming the only western power that has not fallen into economic recession.
What are the UK’s most significant manufacturing sectors currently?
- Financial services market: The UK financial services industry includes financial markets such as banking, insurance, investment management, stock markets, foreign exchange markets, and futures markets. The financial services industry accounts for 8.1% of the UK economy and employs 1 million people.
- Telecommunications market: The United Kingdom is the first country in the European Union to open the telecommunications market and implement the privatisation defence telecommunications industry. British telecommunications service companies have a capital market value of 117 billion pounds, creating more than 50 billion pounds of output value and 20 billion pounds of added value each year.
- Biotech market: British biotechnology has always been in a leading position in the world. With the total number of companies, the products that have entered the market and developed, and the rich management experience, it has become the most dynamic biotechnology industrial base after the United States.
- Aerospace market: British aerospace industry’s R&D and manufacturing level are at the forefront of Europe and the world. The UK is one of the countries that use space data and technology the most in the world. About 3,000 companies engaged in the aerospace industry in the UK, with annual revenue of 17 billion pounds, accounting for 10% of the total income of the UK’s entire engineering and manufacturing industry.
- Energy market: The United Kingdom is rich in energy resources and ranks first among EU countries. It has many oil and natural gas resources and is the fifth-largest natural gas producer and the eighth largest oil producer in the world.
- Chemical market: Britain is the world’s sixth-largest chemical producer. The British chemical industry is the largest manufacturing sector. At present, there are more than 4,000 companies in the British chemical industry, employing more than 400,000 people.
How much does the UK manufacture?
The United Kingdom is one of the largest producing countries, with the civil and military aerospace sector and the pharmaceutical industries of particular importance.
1. Agricultural sector: This sector accounts for about 0.6% of GDP and employs 1% of the workforce (World Bank, 2019), but it is very productive as it manages to produce enough to meet about 60% of its food demand. The main products grown are potatoes, beets, wheat, and barley. Livestock (mainly sheep and cattle) remains an important activity.
According to the latest data from the National Statistics Office (ONS), 17.5 million hectares is used for Agriculture. However, agricultural production was severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak: although it registered a 6.1% increase between April and October 2020, overall production remained 2.1% below pre-pandemic levels (ONS).
2. Fishing sector: This sector is also very developed but currently suffers from a decrease in the volume of fish in traditional fishing areas (the issue was a key issue in the trade agreement concluded with the EU, which states that the UK will have the right to exclude EU vessels thoroughly after 2026).
3. The secondary sector: The secondary sector is not very competitive, mainly because of its low productivity, representing 17.4% of GDP and employing 18% of the workforce. Its main activities are tool machinery, transport material, and chemical products.
The sectors with good potential are information and communication technologies, biotechnology, aeronautics, defence, and renewable energies. 2020 was a challenging year for the UK’s secondary sector.
The United Kingdom has considerable mineral resources, having once occupied 10th place on the list of the largest oil producers in the world. It has vast reserves of natural gas, but its production is falling rapidly. However, groups like British Petroleum (BP) and Shell remain among the world leaders in the oil industry.
4. The service sector: The service sector, which employs almost 81% of the active population and represents about 71.3% of GDP, is the economy’s driving force. Even with Brexit, London remains Europe’s largest financial market, on an equal footing with New York, and home to many multinationals.
5. Banking sector: It is highly dynamic, as is the tourism sector, which accounts for 10% of GDP. However, the tertiary industry was no exception to the crisis caused by the pandemic, with a total production of services remaining, in October 2020, 8.6% below the level recorded in February of the previous year.
Among the sectors most affected are travel agencies, arts and entertainment, accommodation services, and Mergers & Acquisitions, which were still more than 50% below the pre-pandemic level (ONS).
Top Manufacturing Companies in the UK
Here are some of the manufacturing companies in the UK, known to be the leading and most successful ones.
1. Incremental Engineering Ltd
With over 25 years of product design, system design, and instrumentation experience in a world-leading SME, they are well-positioned to recognize the needs and requirements of manufacturing SMEs. Its in-house development team never loads the model and pushes the button. They interrogate parts and advise whether there is an improvement that can be made to a component design. It can be a cost-saving made by design adjustments.
At Incremental Engineering, from the beginning to the end of the work, they tend to work cooperatively with the customer for the best results. Also, during this time interval, if any significant change can help save, they will help with no charges.
With experience, they have built many good relationships with some of the best-renowned companies in the nation. A group of highly experienced people shows its vibrancy in its working pattern and can supply all the products with utmost finishing and perfection. This is achieved by a processing unit that keeps an eye on the working of the team.
They do 3D modeling and have a network of highly qualified and professional contract Product Developers and Design Engineers who can help with larger projects.
They have close working relationships with conventional machining shops outside of the company to provide a hybrid manufacturing service.
Incremental Engineering has been established to serve SMEs with quality end-use parts bringing the advantages of industrial 3D printing. Details can be made through either Additive Manufacturing (AM) or Hybrid manufacturing, a combination of AM and traditional techniques. The additive manufacturing techniques used by Incremental Engineering are centred around Hewlett-Packard’s Multi Jet Fusion process.
2. O-I Manufacturing UK Ltd
O-I UK, formerly known as United Glass, is part of the European operation of O-I Inc, the world’s leading manufacturer of glass packaging and glassmaking technology. Its customers rank amongst the world’s best-known drinks manufacturers. They include Bacardi-Martini, Diageo (makers of Guinness, Gordons Gin, and Johnnie Walker Scotch), Allied Distillers (makers of Tia Maria, Teachers Whisky), and Anheuser Busch (brewers of Budweiser and Michelob), to name but a few.
O-I UK, which has been making glass containers in the UK for over a century, has two glass-manufacturing plants in Alloa and Harlow and a headquarters in Harlow, Essex. In total, the UK operation employs over 700 people.The Company’s success is based on its ability to innovate.
To boost its logistical operations, the Company built a warehouse at its Harlow factory. In addition, the Company has invested an additional £23 million in the modernization of its production facilities, much of which has occurred in the past two years.
O-I UK agreed to upgrade its administrative processes as part of its decision to modernize its physical infrastructures. O-I UK started looking for a new payroll system to replace the old one. As a result, the Company’s time and attendance system was systemized.
The Technical Licensing department at O-I allows potential licensees to take advantage of O-I’s endless rewards, services, technology, Intellectual Property, and experience, which have helped it become the world’s largest glass container manufacturer. Also, Its software has been divided into tiers based on the number of services a licensee needs.
3. Nice UK Ltd
Nice UK limited is a part of the Italian company, a worldwide recognized leader in the Home Automation, Home Security, and Smart Home sectors established in 1993. It offers a broad range of integrated and connected solutions for the automation of gates, garage doors, solar shades, parking, wireless alarm, and home security systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
Nice sells its products in over 100 countries. There are 24 locations on five continents, 14 manufacturing facilities, 13 research and development centers, and 2.300 employees. Together they help spread the Made in Italy brand in the world with high-quality solutions that intelligently combine technology, design, creativity, digital communication, and ease of use. The Nice group has adopted a global growth and creation plan for its portfolio of products and related platforms to provide the end-user with a diverse and customizable selection and ease of use.
This is followed by reinforcing and expanding on markets with strong growth potential, as well as developing and launching new branding operations to engage in new consumer segments.
Nice goods are currently sold in over 100 countries, with exports accounting for 91 percent of the Nice Group’s combined earnings in 2020.
Built with the fidelity of credibility and operability with a statement of uniqueness, Nice UK is well known for a wide range of products and control systems made to match customers’ needs in the residential and commercial sectors.
It is a group of companies (The Nice Group) present worldwide, which makes them stand globally in a very distinct position that solely serves the research and development labs. Though, they are well-renowned in the country for their services.
4. Tesa UK Ltd
Tesa UK is a branch of tesa SE and one of the leading manufacturing giants in the UK. They are globally known for adhesive tapes for more than 75 years, with 7,000 types of tape that spread across more than 100 countries for holding commercial and residential consumers.
Tesa believes in the philosophy of tomorrow. At Tesa, they believe that sustainability is not just a big word, but rather the most pressing issue of our time.
They sell a wide range of self-adhesive tapes, such as masking tapes, double-sided tapes, packing tapes, fabric tapes, and strapping tapes, with perfection as they have 100 years of experience. From flexographic printing, paper, and newspaper splicing, and automotive to decorating and construction, these cover a wide range of applications in both industry and the skilled trades.
They aim to bring the best in them by matching the customers’ needs with total efficiency. They focus on the manufacturing unit’s critical elements, performance, and products and tend to make some suitable changes to be the best in the race.
5. Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd
Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. was founded in 1926, in Consett, in the northeastern part of England. It is a self-made chemical manufacturing company that is spread globally in the UK, USA, and China through a network chain of distributors. It produces more than 100 types of chemicals and provides an outstanding manufacturing service worldwide.
Because of their freedom in work, they have taken a unique approach to chemical production. Also, it has developed cutting-edge technologies in collaboration with leading universities, including the UK’s first commercial-scale carbon nanotube project.
It has also maintained a family company’s versatility and customer-focused mentality, allowing excellent service and support to customers ranging from large multinationals to small start-ups.
They have over more than 20 years of experience in this field for exporting coating additives globally. Also, its excellent products offer enormous customer satisfaction with services and capabilities.
6. The Manufacturing Technologies Association
The MTA stands for Manufacturing Technologies Association. It is a trade association in the United Kingdom that represents the manufacturing technologies sector. It is at the heart of the engineering-based manufacturing industry, and as an organisation, it works relentlessly to ensure that its members’ businesses are as profitable as possible.
In 1919, the Machine Tools Trades Association (MTTA) was established, which later evolved into the Machine Tools Technologies Association. Since its inception, the organization has grown into a trade association with a global support network dedicated to supporting globally competitive manufacturing technology trade.
The MTA is headquartered in London, where it maintains strong ties with the British government through the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the CBI, and UK Trade & Investment.It is primarily trade association representing UK businesses, their associates, and members responsible for driving manufacturing technology, creativity, and quality in the UK. It also offers data and estimates on the state of the manufacturing markets in the United Kingdom.
The following are examples of manufacturing innovations that the organisation and the show cover:
- Automation and robotics
- Engineering lasers
- Measurement and inspection
- Tooling and work holding
- Welding and metal fabrication
- Rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping
7. Britten Norman
Britten-Norman (BN) is a British aircraft manufacturer and aviation services company that is owned privately. In the United Kingdom, it is the only independent commercial aircraft manufacturer. It has sold almost 1,300 aircraft to customers in over 120 countries to date.
In addition to manufacturing and supporting the famous BN2 series of Islander, Trislander, and Defender aircraft, the company has a wide range of capabilities extending from sub-contract component manufacturer to sophisticated mission systems integration.
In recent years, the Group has grown to include complete maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility and a training company, and a global customer service infrastructure with offices in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.
Britten-Norman has recently founded BN Logistics, a parts distribution and warehousing firm, and BN Defence, a dedicated military MRO subsidiary.
In addition to aircraft production, the business also offers maintenance, overhaul, repair services, and subcontract engineering and design. Being an original equipment manufacturer, They ensure to provide the highest standard of products and services. Here, customers can also get general tips, repair schemes, custom modifications, and access to a variety of professional publications from them.
Thus, this company holds a very prestigious position in the manufacturing field in the UK.
With this, we can say that the UK is one of the leading nations to have the most efficient and best group of manufacturing units globally, renowned worldwide for its services and customer satisfaction.
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