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With the rapidly-increasing advancement of new technology, there has never been a more important time for manufacturing businesses to stay at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation.

The Annual Manufacturing Report 2018, recently launched at the House of Lords and widely regarded as the barometer of the manufacturing industry, revealed that 91% of UK manufacturers recognise the value of connected machines via 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) technologies.

A more efficient way of working
4IR technologies make it possible to monitor and react to data flowing from connected machines, empowering companies with the ability to create and design innovative new products in a smoother and more collaborative manner.

Embracing and exploiting these innovations will give companies a crucial edge in the marketplace, the report says, especially in a competitive sector that is as challenging as it is exciting.

The report, which studies trends for the year ahead based on feedback from UK manufacturers of all sizes and reach, states that keeping up with changing technology will differentiate the smart factories from the rest, thereby future-proofing their businesses.

What’s the big deal?
Characterised by a fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, 4IR technologies have led to breakthroughs in fields such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and autonomous vehicles.

IoT sensors, for example, insert data into local and cloud-based computers where it is swiftly crunched to produce a moving, real-time picture of the manufacturing process. This allows the company’s decision-makers to identify weaknesses in the system and tweak accordingly before they become a bigger and more expensive problem later down the line.

A 3D printer, meanwhile, provides same-day printing of a concept, shrinking the development process from weeks into days and allowing you to verify a design before paying for an expensive moulding tool, offering huge savings.

How to make it happen
Investing in emerging technology can feel daunting, but as the Annual Manufacturing Report 2018 suggests, it’s the companies that make that leap which will ultimately reap the rewards.

So how do you go about funding to secure the latest innovations, such as 4IR technologies? Once you’ve done your research to identify the core benefits of new pieces of technology and can pinpoint which will work best for your particular business, it’s important to choose a finance company with a flexible leasing option.

The advantage of leasing is that, unlike a loan, it frees up cash flow so gives you more leeway for further investment that may be required such as IT software or staff costs to make this period of growth for you a success. This popular option is also 100% tax deductible.

Repayment terms can be flexible and spread over periods of between 1-10 years, putting you in control of your budgeting. Rates as low as 2.5% are available, the cost of which will be dwarfed by the additional profit generated from your new high-tech asset.

Benefit from our expertise
At Portman, we are highly experienced at guiding manufacturing business owners through the process of securing the right finance agreement for them. We understand how important it is to balance the need to acquire new technology with the need to safeguard the business.

Speak to one of our expert Account Managers on 01604 321 995 for advice on how we can help your company. Alternatively you can check your eligibility here or discover more about our manufacturing finance products here.

Portman Asset Finance