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The Engineering & Machinery Alliance Bulletin for Parliamentarians
July 2007
Quick Links:
Can you meet this challenge? Sector insight EAMA Skills
Engineering across europe Companies and constituencies Trade associations
Can you meet this challenge?

Where would you place the UK in the world league of manufacturing countries? At number 10? 20? 30? Note your answer. Honestly? To view the presentation Flash Player is required, if you need it download here

Now click the button to find out and view a presentation from the Financial Times by Peter Marsh. What do you think?

If you have any comments you would like to make, please make them here

Sector insight
UK mechanical engineering investment is on the rise, strongly in areas such as training and IT, after eight years of decline. Some SMEs are stonking ahead, investing as much as 20-30% of cash flow to build and maintain their competitiveness. And they can do this because business has been good.
Grants do affect SMEs’ behaviour. While at least 50% of firms in this survey say they wouldn’t have proceeded with their export, training or R&D without a grant, 25% of the respondents applying for grants say that they hand over 20-29% of the award to the consultants who have helped with their application for funding.


The Engineering and Machinery Alliance is an umbrella organisation for 1,250 companies in nine mechanical engineering trade associations. These firms provide the productive machinery that’s used by other industries to make their goods, such as aerospace, cars, printing, medical, plastics, packaging and food processing.

Forty Parliamentarians including then Industry Minister Rt Hon Margaret Hodge and 150 EAMA member firms heard EAMA chairman Graham Hayes say that mechanical engineering is very much a UK manufacturing success story. Last year for example the sector ran a positive trade balance for the UK of £5.5 billion on worldwide export sales of £27 billion. Graham was speaking at an event in the Palace of Westminster jointly sponsored by Lord O’Neil and Stephen O’Brien with assistance from the Manufacturing Technologies Association.


Investment in skills development is now recognised as a priority for personal growth and for the nation. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the study that EAMA plans for the autumn please leave your e-mail address here.

South Derbyshire’s Star Micronics is already beginning to see the benefits of taking on their first apprentice nine months ago. Following involvement across the business, but with a focus on applications engineering, Joe Whiteside, 18, recently programmed and set up his first customised demonstration. This led directly to an early order for a Star machine.
With the rapid advances in the machinery they use, UK component manufacturers have been searching for courses to increase the number of CNC setters for many years. However, they have been stymied because the college courses available are based on obsolete machinery and out-of-date skills sets. Now the sector trade association has designed a suite of skills courses with machinery users and suppliers. Structured specifically for the well motivated ‘non-apprentice’, the four courses will give a successful candidate the thorough grounding needed to take their career from unskilled worker to technician and thereby increase their earnings’ potential too.

Engineering across Europe - Orgalime

Engineering accounts for 27% of all manufacturing output across the EU. Orgalime represents these interests to the European institutions, with 36 trade federations from 23 countries in membership. UK members are EAMA (for mechanical engineering), BEAMA (covering electronic and electrical engineering) and GAMBICA (for instrumentation and control)
European engineering output grew 6.6% last year, its highest annual rate since 2000. Demand has been strong in 2007 so that Orgalime is forecasting 4.3% growth this year.

Companies and constituencies

EAMA’s 1,250 companies are to be found in 420 constituencies round the country. If you would like to visit (a) firm(s) in your constituency, please leave your details here.
Congratulations to Kettering’s Timsons, world leaders in custom built presses for the printing of books (a significant proportion of the world’s Bibles are printed on their machines) and their three apprentices who have won through to the finals of the East Midlands and Mid Anglia Apprentice of the Year competition.
Vision Engineering
Woking-based Vision Engineering is one of the country’s leading edge manufacturers. It specialises in ergonomic stereomicroscopes and non-contact measuring systems. The Max Planck Institute in Germany uses the company’s unique Lynx inspection systems to study solar system materials.

Delcam Group
The Delcam Group, with headquarters in Sparkbrook & Small Heath, won outstanding supplier award at the 55th China Aviation Industry Celebrations as one of the highlights of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Aviation Industry Forum in Zhuhai.

Trade associations

The Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) and the Gauge and Tool Making Association (GTMA) have formed a strategic partnership for growth. FAC acts as an enabler between large primes and the supply chain, particularly SMEs fostering technology transfer and best practice. GTMA will enhance the engineering supply chainand further the SC21 programme throughout the membership.
For the second year in a row the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has triumphed at the Trade Association Forum’s Best Practice awards, this time winning the Export Initiative Award for its office in Ekaterinburg, which has already generated several million pounds of export sales in Russia.
To be effective, the export licensing authorities have to strike a delicate balance on the one hand to prevent irresponsible arms exports for example and on the other to permit the wholly legitimate sale of a machine with dual use potential. At a recent MTA seminar the DTI’s Export Controls Organisation explained how the new system works, particularly with regard to countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, which are high priority markets for UKTI but are equally seen as inherently higher risk and therefore subject to a stricter licensing regime.
British Automation and Robot Association (BARA) Gauge and Toolmakers Association (GTMA)
British Plastics Federation (BPF) Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA)
British Paper Machinery Suppliers Association (BPMSA) Printing, Publishing and Converting Suppliers Association (Picon)
British Turned Part Manufacturers Association (BTMA) Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA)
Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM)