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Helping UK manufacturing embrace digitalization - Businesswoman and man talking at assembly robot in a factory
  • Case Study

How PASs Helped UK Manufacturing Embrace Digitalization

The UK's slow take-up of digital solutions placed it at risk of being left behind. To accelerate their progress, manufacturing leaders turned to PASs.


“Cutting-edge equipment and resources can help the UK remain a world leader in manufacturing.” 

Dick Elsy High Value Manufacturing Catapult
Helping UK manufacturing embrace digitalization - Businesswoman and manwith tablet talking in a modern factory
Driving Innovation

Repositioning UK manufacturing's world-leading credentials

Digitalization is critical to the UK's push to be a global manufacturing pioneer. To drive innovation forward, it turned to standards development.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) wanted to understand how British industry could regain its competitive advantage, and identified the slow take-up of digital technologies as an opportunity for innovation and growth.

The Challenge

Overcoming barriers to digital manufacturing

Manufacturing's vital contribution to the UK economy risked being undercut by a slow embrace of digital innovation that could enhance the sector's success and turn it into a world-beating industry.

Organizations are strengthening their manufacturing supply chains with digital solutions. To cement the UK's position as a global leader, it's critical that industry players adopt cutting-edge products and services to drive revenue and lower costs.

But organizations face several serious barriers to digitalization. They include the risks and expense of R&D, industry skills gaps, the significant upfront costs of launching new products and services and the difficulty of scaling them up effectively.

The Solution

A fast-track approach to standards development

The publication of four PASs has primed the UK manufacturing industry to accelerate its ambitions as a future-ready sector.

After investigating the possible impact of PAS on the rapid adoption of digitalization, the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and its partners identified five opportunities for standards development. These areas included design for digital manufacturing, intelligent data gathering and analysis, and data ownership structures.

Four PASs were subsequently developed with input from organizations such as the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems. They establish best practices to help manufacturers adopt digital technologies in a variety of areas.

Reestablishing British manufacturing's credentials

Clearing the path for innovation through standards development has helped UK manufacturing to thrive

Helping UK manufacturing embrace digitalization - Male engineers at desk discussing in industry office
  • Four PASs now fill critical gaps in UK manufacturing expertise

  • Increase in digital trust and confidence through the secure use of technology

  • Best practice is established in supply chains with enhanced reliability and flexibility

  • Greater innovation in the supply chain, making room for increased specialization

  • International leadership is reflected in a robust set of standards

Unlocking the UK's manufacturing industry's potential

Industry leaders are eager to innovate and grow globally with the right support

  • 45%

    Manufacturing accounts for 45% of the UK's total exports

  • 9th globally

    The UK ranks ninth globally for manufacturing output

  • 81%

    81% of UK industries say digital technologies will enable new market access

  • 92%

    92% of UK businesses say government needs to incentivize long-term investment in digitalization


“The route to boosting productivity and creating new opportunities in UK manufacturing is the adoption of industrial digital technologies.” 

David Elson Head of Manufacturing and Materials, Innovate UK
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Accelerating opportunity for an innovative manufacturing industry

We shape and embed best practice so that businesses can become future ready. As a global standards organization, we accelerate opportunities for the manufacturing industry by establishing best practice to fuel innovation and growth.

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How standards establish trust and expertise

Learn how PASs can rapidly unlock your organization's potential to access new markets, drive revenue and cut costs.

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