With just a week to go until the opening of MACH 2022, the ability of the exhibition to act as a stimulus to manufacturing investment could not be timelier for an industry facing mounting cost pressures, event organiser the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has said.
The association said while the Chancellor’s Spring Statement may have offered some tactical comfort to manufacturers looking for help overcoming rising inflationary pressures, it welcomed the intention that a concerted effort to invest in new technology now would reap long term rewards for manufacturers prepared to commit to the future.
MACH 2022, which opens its doors at the NEC in Birmingham on Monday 4th April, has the potential to be a major catalyst for new investment, featuring as it does, the largest display of new machinery and manufacturing technologies under one roof in the UK for four years.
James Selka, CEO, MTA said: “I know many within our industry have been pleased with the ongoing support to incentivise vital investment under difficult circumstances.
“The national priority must be for government to add the weight of wide advocacy around the vital role UK manufacturing has to play in decarbonisation, increased exports, levelling up and the stark realisation of the strategic importance of sovereign manufacturing capability.”
Mr Selka said while growth may have been impacted by external forces, the MTA remained confident in the ability of the UK economy to recover long-term, with economic data suggesting that plans by manufacturers to invest in new software, automation, machine tools, metrology and all the associated transformative manufacturing technologies over the coming twelve months remains good.
“The Government says in its Spring Statement that investment remains a key driver of productivity growth and that by adding to the economy’s capital stock and improving the skills of the workforce, the economy can produce more with the same input from workers. This aligns with the MTA’s own view that investment in machinery and improved skills have consistently delivered higher productivity levels down the years, and will continue to do so,” added Mr Selka.
“With inflation rising for the first time in decades, UK manufacturers need to implement productivity improvements now in order to avoid having margins squeezed to an unsustainable degree. Now is the time to be brave and make the investments that will reap greater rewards further down the line. With the vast array of new machines and technology on display at MACH 2022 there has never been a better time to implement investment strategies.
“In order to make the step change improvements in productivity and therefore competitiveness, manufacturers need only three things – technologies, the skill to acquire and deploy those technologies, and the finance to make it happen. Technologies have never been more powerful and affordable, the UK has an incredible reputation for its innovative and flexible workforce, and finance assisted by government incentives such as Super-Deduction and the Annual Investment Allowance is incredibly good value and hugely available.”
He said if further proof was needed then it could be found in the Spring Statement itself, where the document quotes: “The OBR expects business investment to fully recover in 2022. This has been supported by the Super-Deduction announced by the government in 2021.The UK needs to build on this momentum to encourage stronger growth in business investment and hence productivity. To achieve this, the government will cut and reform taxes on capital investment to help drive higher growth.”
“Brighter times are ahead but manufacturers must shape their own destiny and by investing now, will make great strides towards a better future for everyone. The MTA stands ready to assist manufacturers in any way it can, and by staging such a timely exhibition as MACH 2022 it is making a positive contribution to future prosperity. We urge the entire manufacturing community to embrace opportunity and visit MACH 2022 for a glimpse on how that future can be achieved,” said Mr Selka.