This morning, Northern Manufacturing opened its doors for the second - and final - day. Taking place at EventCity in Manchester, expectations from exhibitors were high after an extremely busy first day of the show. Although Northern Manufacturing is slightly smaller than its sister show Southern Manufacturing, both energy and activity levels have remained as consistent and upbeat as its counterpart, in spite of the scaled-down floor plan.
Different Day, Same Energy:
Whilst the footfall on the second day was not as full-on as yesterday, the show has not lost its ‘buzz’ into Thursday.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s review, there is a broad range of companies exhibiting at this year’s Northern Manufacturing show. From large machine tool manufacturers to smaller subcontract engineering shops and engineering services companies, Northern Manufacturing offers a wide variety of stands for visitors to peruse.
Whilst the footfall on the second day was not as full-on as yesterday, the show has not lost its ‘buzz’ into Thursday. A thriving turnout still prevailed and both of the seminars I attended had seen a substantial audience in attendance. I’ve found myself quite astounded at how busy Northern Manufacturing has been, especially in relation to the size of the event overall.
Qimtek’s stand was once again thriving with visitors and this seemed to set the precedent for most of the exhibiting companies. Making my way around the hall, today offered more of an opportunity to take in the atmosphere of the event, as well as spending considerably more time absorbing the offerings of each stand.
One that caught my attention was that of lean manufacturing consultancy Manufacturing Excellence, whose stand featured a circus theme, as well as a Triumph motorbike to draw in passers-by. Dressed in jester outfits, Wayne Henshaw, Don Aziz and Charlie Brook were on hand to speak to visitors about Manufacturing Excellence’s offerings of lean tools, visual management, problem solving and kaizen to improve workplace performance.
‘We do four shows a year,’ Wayne told me. ‘We exhibited at Southern Manufacturing last year and it was really successful - we came away with quite a few leads.
‘We decided to exhibit here at Northern Manufacturing as we have quite a few clients in this area and we want to grow that number.’
Don agreed that although the second day had been less full-on in terms of turnout, this wasn’t necessarily a disadvantage. ‘It’s been less busy today, but we’re finding that people have the time to find out more about what we do,’ he said. ‘We found that the footfall peaked yesterday lunchtime, but the conversations we’ve had this morning have gone on for longer, which is great.’
It’s great to hear so much praise for Northern Manufacturing - and deservedly so.
Another stand I stopped by was that of injection moulding company Agentdraw. Based in Whetstone, Leicestershire, Agentdraw are no stranger to Southern Manufacturing; however, 2019 marked their first year at the northern show. I spoke with Sean Downey and Joseph Parsons about their experiences so far.
‘We did very well at Southern Manufacturing and got a buzz for the show,’ said Sean. ‘This led us to take a stand at Northern Manufacturing and we’re feeling very positive about it.
‘We’ve had some great, qualified enquiries and we’ve managed to set up a number of meetings, so this has been just as worthwhile.’
It’s great to hear so much praise for Northern Manufacturing - and deservedly so. The past two days have proven that size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to regional events - conversely, this event has enjoyed a more sizeable turnout than some of the larger shows I’ve been to. It’s clear that both visitors and exhibitors alike see the value in forming new business relationships within a certain geographical region - Northern Manufacturing is the only manufacturing show that serves this specific area and it does an excellent job of promoting what the north of England has to offer - both from a buying and supplying perspective.
The seminar programme at Northern Manufacturing picked up where it had left off today, with a range of conferences covering topics such as lean manufacturing, composites and 3D printing. Whilst some of the conferences were repeated over the two days, giving visitors a chance to catch up on any that they had missed, the agenda largely refreshed itself over the course of the event, with today’s programme perhaps offering a little more variety.
Fund Your Innovation With R&D Tax Rewards From HMRC - Paul Grabham, Associate at Randd UK:
R&D tax credits have been a hot topic within the engineering and manufacturing sector for quite some time, with many unsure as to their availability in a post-Brexit Britain. Paul Grabham’s seminar on the status of R&D tax credits, as well as who is eligible to receive them, proved to be extremely informative and attracted an engaged audience who were poised with their own questions to ask. Paul explained that many companies think that R&D tax credits are too good to be true, but the rewards are there for the taking by those who decide to seek professional advice and investigate further.
Introduction To Shingo - Gary Griffiths, Partner at SA Partners LLP and Author of Staying Lean:
Having written an award-winning book on the virtues of lean manufacturing, Gary Griffiths is an expert on all things lean and eagerly promotes its benefits. His conference yesterday entitled Staying Lean drew one of the largest audiences I’ve seen at a seminar, proving that Gary is well-respected within his field and addresses topics that are close to those who have an active interest in lean manufacturing. Whilst his seminar today was perhaps a little quieter, Gary’s introduction to the Shingo model and its guiding principles was no less engaging; the participation given by the audience ensured that everybody left with a clearer understanding of both Shingo and lean manufacturing at large. Gary’s focus is on sustainability and he stresses that although process improvement and tools are a great starting point, it is systems and behaviour that will ultimately ensure long-term success for companies who are implementing lean philosophies.
Northern Manufacturing 2020 - Should I Attend?:
Northern Manufacturing provides an invaluable opportunity to meet potential customers and suppliers.
For engineering and manufacturing companies who are looking to establish more business connections in the region, Northern Manufacturing provides an invaluable opportunity to meet potential customers and suppliers. From an exhibitor’s perspective, the show is fast-paced and full of activity; from a visitor’s perspective, there are a wide range of companies behind the stands, meaning that an array of purchasing requirements can be addressed under one roof.
Regional shows such as Southern and Northern Manufacturing are fast gaining traction and it’s easy to see why. It’s not always straightforward to connect with companies who are based across the country, but these events provide an ideal forum to establish new business connections - no matter what your area of interest.
For more information on Northern Manufacturing, as well as updates on the 2020 show, please visit www.industrynorth.co.uk.