Richard Ludlam's Latest Posts

Maintaining Skill Levels in Modern Manufacturing

21-Nov-2017 04:53:00

‘What happens if I train my staff and they leave?” is a question often asked by business owners and managers. It’s usually met with the response of “What if I don’t train them and they stay?”.

The ‘skills gap’ in manufacturing is widely debated, but it means different things depending on the area of operations you are involved in. In a recent survey, 55 per cent of respondents said they need to develop in-house technical capability.

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Topics: News, Best Practice, Efficiency, Industry 4.0

A Recipe for Success

09-Nov-2017 04:19:00

Responding to changing demand, seasonal trends and even the legislative landscape, can present a herculean task for businesses but what can the food & beverage industry and the pharmaceutical sectors learn from each other, if anything?

A closer look at the food and beverage industry
In an increasingly consumer focused society, the food and beverage industry is facing increasing pressure from a number of channels, which in turn is placing a greater strain on manufacturing processes.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Best Practice, Food & Beverage, Legislation

Can KPI's Be Fatal in Waste and Recycling?

24-Oct-2017 04:05:00

5 people were killed in the waste and recycling industry in 2016, and 37 from 2010-15. Add in the 6,000+ workplace injuries in the industry over the same period, and it starts to look like a very dangerous place to work. But could it be your focus on the wrong KPIs that’s a potentially fatal error?

Tonnage targets for recycling, and strict operating deadlines imposed by Council contracts, don’t do anything to make your life easy. All they do is force you (or your managers) into an  “at all costs” mentality to keep the line running.

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Topics: Best Practice, Health & Safety, Waste & Recycling, Engineering, Condition Monitoring

Move Fast and Manufacture Things

13-Sep-2017 04:31:00

It was Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who encapsulated his business philosophy as “Move fast and break things.” While the same way of operating wouldn’t get you far in manufacturing, the underlying principle of being disruptive to open up new opportunities and new revenue streams still applies.

The philosophy is discussed in the White Paper which Dr. Lina Huertas of the Manufacturing Technology Centre will be exploring at the forthcoming ERIKS Innovation Excellence Conference.

Dr. Huertas’ paper explains that the growth in digital technologies has created a similarly huge growth in data, which has become a valuable asset to manufacturers. Whether it’s historical or real-time data providing knowledge and information, or data used to predict the future, it can have a major impact within manufacturing, on:

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Topics: News, Innovation, Industry 4.0

UK Manufacturers Need a 'Level Playing Field'

27-Aug-2017 05:14:00

A conference on the future of the Northern Powerhouse was told that UK manufacturers will need to be on a ‘level playing field’ in order to compete globally.

This will include creating long-term investment strategies and addressing challenges UK manufacturers face, such as energy costs.

In order to support UK manufacturing, the government is also encouraged to create a long-term R&D investment strategy for the biotechnology sector alongside making it easier for particular manufacturing sectors to keep their operations in Britain, such as car manufacturing.

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Topics: News, Best Practice, Automotive

Researchers in Peru Have Discovered a Way to Grow Potatoes on Mars

13-Aug-2017 09:03:00

Researchers at the University of Engineering and Technology in Peru have demonstrated the ability to grow potatoes on Mars. The Peruvian scientists created a simulator based on extreme Mars-like conditions, including atmospheric similarities and Peruvian high-salinity soil similar to that found on Mars.


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Topics: News, Innovation, Food & Beverage

Silo Budgeting: The Major Cause of Bad-Decision Making

11-Aug-2017 05:08:00

Does this ring any bells? You’re sat in a meeting to sign off on an important new project and the thorny issue of who is paying for it comes up.

“Well we can’t. I’ve used up all of our budget on the new conveyor,” says the Production Director.

Finance quickly jump in. “Well, if we are going to contribute, we’ll have to insist on the first option.”

Maintenance, sensing problems further down the line, pipe up. “Well you would, it’s the cheapest and you won’t have to maintain it.”

Everybody looks at IT. “No, it’s impossible, this new ERP system has bled us dry.”

If this sounds familiar you almost certainly have silo budgeting, in which pots of money are given to individual functions, more often than not causing project delays, division and inter-departmental conflict, not to mention non-delivery of project objectives.

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Topics: News, TCO, Engineering

The Joy of Six

07-Aug-2017 05:25:00

There are six product areas at the heart of ERIKS. And there are six reasons why ERIKS is your best source for products for all six areas.

Products are at the heart of everything ERIKS does. ERIKS’ engineering know-how, commitment to providing long-term solutions, and great customer service, all exist simply to support and enhance the product offering.
It’s an offering which encompasses SIX product areas essential to industry:

  • Bearings and lubrication
  • Power transmission
  • Fluid power, transfer and control
  • Sealing and polymer
  • Flow control
  • Tools, safety and maintenance
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Topics: News, Innovation, Bearings & Lubrication, Sealing & Polymer, Power Transmission, Fluid Power, Transfer & Control, Flow Control, Tools, Safety and Maintenance

Future Engineering Encouraged by ERIKS Volunteers

28-Jul-2017 12:18:23

Earlier this month, we were proud to support Business in the Community's Passport to Employment Programme at schools local to ERIKS Head Office.

Together with other large employers in the Midlands Region (JLR and Lloyds Bank were amongst some of the well-known names) the programme allowed us to work with Y9 children to help:

  • Increase their awareness of job opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing and in the local area
  • Them identify the skills and qualities needed for those jobs
  • Them think about the skills and qualities they already have
  • Them understand the different career pathways available to them after the leave school
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Topics: News, Engineering

Industry 4.0 What's Holding the UK Back?

20-Jul-2017 05:51:00

The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution has received much press attention over the past few years, bringing with it the promise of automation, efficiency and output like never before.

However, when it comes to implementing this, UK manufacturers are standing still. Following a new report on the attitudes of UK industry towards Industry 4.0, Gary Price, International Product Manager, Automation and Services at ERIKS UK, examines what is holding manufacturing back, and why its inertia may prove costly in the long term.

It's an exciting time for manufacturing as the rise of Industry 4.0 gathers pace. The advantages are clear: more automation, less downtime, slicker processes and smarter decisions.

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Topics: News, Innovation, Best Practice, Automation, Efficiency, Industry 4.0

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