Investment at Britten-Norman

Britten-Norman has secured new investment from a group of investors led by 4D Capital Partners LLP, a private equity firm that focuses on operational improvement and business transformation. The new investors are making funds available to Britten-Norman to fund working capital and drive successful long-term growth. Britten-Norman is the manufacturer of the Islander, which the company says is the world’s most iconic commercial light twin aircraft. In 2024, the business will be celebrating 70 years since it was first established at Bembridge Airport on the Isle of Wight, UK.

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Worker shortage led automation decisions

New data from global automation market platform HowToRobot reveals the most common business reasons for automating last year. Some 80% of all projects measured aimed to free employees from manual tasks and move them to more value-adding activities, HowToRobot finds. The data confirms that businesses are seeing automation and robots as a supplement to – and not a replacement for – human labour. The second biggest motivation for automating in 2023 was to increase productivity, with 70.9% of projects having this goal, while 36.2% of projects sought to improve product quality and uniformity.

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GE Aerospace to make €64m investment

GE Aerospace plans to invest more than €64m in its manufacturing facilities across Europe this year, a move that will help the company produce more efficient commercial and military engines. Many of the investments enable new manufacturing techniques or materials that result in stronger and lighter components, increasing the efficiency of engines and reducing emissions. Sites in Italy, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and the UK will benefit. Specifically, the plant in Gloucester, UK, will receive £1.6m for new machines, additional tooling and safety enhancements. 

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JLR to recruit 250 electrification jobs

JLR is recruiting 250 electrification engineers to work at its Gaydon and Whitley facilities. The roles will further propel the development of JLR’s next-generation 100% electric vehicles launching by 2030 under the company’s ‘Reimagine’ strategy. Within the 250 new roles, the car manufacturer is specifically recruiting over 40 battery engineering roles, working across disciplines that include advanced energy storage systems, battery cell design and cell stack assemblies.

The remaining roles span specialisms in propulsion, including propulsion software, calibration and controls, HV system integration, electrical system component design and more. Aspects of the roles will also focus on improving fast-charging experiences for JLR clients.

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Alliance Tooling invests in Kafo machine

Alliance Tooling, an injection mould toolmaker based in Leicester, has added a new Kafo machining centre to its manufacturing facility. This latest acquisition marks the fourth Kafo machining centre purchased by Alliance Tooling, underscoring the company’s ongoing commitment to technological advancement and quality in the manufacture of graphite electrodes for mould making. Kafo machining centres are supplied and serviced by TDT Machine Tools.

Specifically tailored for the efficient production of graphite electrodes, Alliance Tooling’s new Kafo SCV-5 machining centre offers agility and a compact design, while also boasting a custom dust extraction device that guarantees the containment of particles during operation. This feature is instrumental in maintaining a high standard of cleanliness at Alliance Tooling, ensuring a safer and cleaner working environment.

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