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Comments about manufacturing, technology and politics.

Brexit Good News For (Some) UK Businesses?

By |October 22nd, 2017|Comment|

Interesting article in this Week's Economist about companies looking for UK replacements for their EU-based suppliers. For example, Nissan reportedly wants to double the share (by value) of UK-made parts from 40% to 80%. Worth reading with your coffee and a Hobnob or two. https://www.economist.com/news/britain/21730479-firms-shorten-their-supply-chains-divorce-europe-nears-brexit-triggers-round  

Remember when disks actually were floppy?

By |December 1st, 2016|Comment|

Interesting story on the BBC news website about how the US nuclear weapons force still uses obsolete technology and 8-inch floppy disks. "This system remains in use because, in short, it still works," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt Col Valerie Henderson told the AFP news agency. It reminds me of the old version 11 of Herschel, which just [...]

Making things matters. This is what Britain forgot

By |June 18th, 2016|Comment|

Interesting (if slightly depressing) article by Ha-Joon Chang in today's Guardian about the need to reinvigorate British manufacturing: "The weakness of manufacturing is at the heart of the UK’s economic problems. Reversing three and a half decades of neglect will not be easy but, unless the country provides its industrial sector with more capital, stronger [...]

Are Spreadsheets a Curse?

By |March 15th, 2016|Comment|

I’ve visited yet another company where everything is done using single-user, unwieldy, labour intensive spreadsheets. I’m sure if I visited their factory in 1916 they’d have used exactly the same methods of working – except with a ledger and a fountain pen. If only they’d chuck out their spreadsheets (after importing them into Herschel, of [...]

A Hard Year For UK Manufacturing

By |December 15th, 2015|Comment|

It seems 2015 has been another grim year, according to this week’s Economist.  “They were supposed to carry Britain aloft, but manufacturers have had a hard year”.  British manufacturing has fallen to 9% of GDP – Germany’s is 20%. Britain’s deep problem is “to get its tens of thousands of small and medium-sized manufacturers to [...]