Plant & Works Engineering
A platform for knowledge at co-location of manufacturing events
Published:  17 September, 2020

Having been given the green light to go ahead by the Government, the forthcoming co-located events; Plant & Asset Management, Drives & Controls, Smart Industry Expo, Fluid Power & Systems, and Air-Tech Exhibitions – will return to Birmingham’s NEC between the 25th -27th January 2021, alongside MACH.

Located at the heart of the 2021 co-location and adhering to Government safety procedures, are The Digitalisation and Engineering Forums. With a strong emphasis on technology, The Engineering Forum will bring together all aspects of plant and asset management, hydraulics, pneumatics, robotics and automation, energy efficiency, machine safety, drives, motion control, legislation, system strategies and technological developments. Featuring representatives from across industry including government agencies, research bodies, trade associations, and manufacturers.

Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA) Mike Wilson, will be discussing how the growth of robotics will generate better ROI and productivity. He will also explain the ongoing practical challenges, continued efforts around education, and investment in robotic technology as a means to help UK manufacturing compete with other major economies.

While Dr. John Ahmet Erkoyuncu, from the Cranfield University will take a look at the importance of condition monitoring as part of a digitalisation Strategy.

In addition, Nikesh Mistry, sector head – Industrial Automation, GAMBICA, will be exploring why demand for automation technology is set to grow throughout the coming year, and how to retain a competitive advantage in the face of these new demands as well as overall automation trends in the UK.

Panel discussions will also be a major feature of the Engineering Forum with issues such as Predictions for manufacturing as a consequence of Covid-19: Industrial trends for 2021 and beyond. In light of the changing relationship between the UK and the EU as well as the consequences of Covid-19, this panel discussion will offer a lively debate around the direction UK Manufacturing is heading over the next twelve months, as well as the products and initiatives hailed as ways to help transform manufacturing businesses.

The Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) will also be discussing practical ways its members can help inspect, maintain, and manage the machinery and equipment which keeps manufacturers functioning.

Other seminars and case studies will include presentations from the CSA Catapult, British Fluid Power Association, BCAS, Pilz, Primary Engineer, plus many others which will be updated on the show websites.

While The Digitalisation Forum, sponsored by Pilz, will fully reflect the ongoing global transformation to the smart manufacturing era and provide a fascinating insight into the potential plants of the future, covering all aspect of the digital transformation across the manufacturing spectrum, as well as looking at how digitalisation has helped during the Coronavirus pandemic and its importance in any future outbreak. Leading expert will address the vast array of information around 4IR, discussing the practicalities, technologies and issues surrounding transition and implementation of digitalisation in UK manufacturing. Over the course of the three-day seminar programme, visitors will have the opportunity to learn how they can seize the opportunities that exist and promote the benefits of adopting emerging digital technologies through a range of practical case studies, panel discussion and seminars.

Steve Brambley will be presenting papers on getting started on your smart manufacturing journey by discussing IT, cyber security, cloud computing and Industrial Automation and what it all means for Smart Manufacturing.

While Made Smarter will explore the barriers and challenges North West Manufacturers have experienced around bringing technology into their businesses.

Other key issues will also be highlighted. Andrew Hodgson, Strategic Lead - Digitalisation at Siemens, and Vice President of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), for example will pose the questions, what Digital Twins really mean for the manufacturer, and how can it benefit the design, the production and the service either as a complete unbroken value chain or as a supplying SME in B2C and B2B?

As part of the MTC’s significant presence at the co-location of events in 2021, The Manufacturing organisation will highlight the changing manufacturing landscape - challenges and opportunities as well as case studies that will help provide practical steps, which manufacturers can take on the journey to embrace digitalisation.

The variety and scope of both Forum programmes for 2021 is extremely exciting, adding real value and will give visitors a genuine opportunity to keep abreast of the latest industry developments.

For further updates and to view the full programme as well as comprehensive information as to how we will be keeping exhibitors and visitors safe during the course of the event please visit: