The medical technologies sector has been high profile over the last couple of years, with many of us becoming more familiar with products like lateral flow devices, surgical masks and ventilators than we ever expected to be! You may have also heard recent debates about the merits of UK domestic manufacturing capacity versus more resilient supply chains. There’s been much less attention, however, on the longer-term issue of manufacturing productivity and the impact that it can have on the med tech sector, the wider economy and ultimately our quality of life.
The “productivity puzzle” is multi-faceted and the debate on how best to drive up manufacturing productivity will rumble on. It’s well established though that there are benefits to be gained from adopting industrial digital technologies (IDTs), as part of a digital manufacturing approach. The Made Smarter review highlighted that by deploying these “Industry 4.0” digital tools, manufacturers have the opportunity not only to develop new capabilities, but importantly to collect data across their manufacturing processes and develop useful insights.