LIVE & updated! All the latest EPDT COVID-19 electronics industry news & stories...
19 November 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic outbreak continues to dominate the news cycle & media channels, EPDT is trying to feature all the best & latest COVID-19 electronics & manufacturing news, stories & updates for you – and now, we're collecting it together in one place for you in a regularly updated summary with links to the original posts...
19 November 2020: Advanced PCBs enable fastest & most sensitive COVID-19 antigen test on the market
Tracing COVID-19: In the global fight against coronavirus, high-end printed circuit boards (PCBs) made by PCB & IC substrate manufacturer, AT&S are enabling the fastest & most sensitive COVID-19 antigen test on the market. Miniaturised & highly sensitive AT&S PCBs are needed to obtain fast & accurate results from COVID-19 tests.
16 November 2020: Brexit uncertainty weighs heavy on SME manufacturers looking to recover from COVID-19
Just 3% of small to medium-sized manufacturers in England believe Brexit will have a positive impact on their recovery according to the latest Manufacturing Barometer.
13 November 2020: Connector sales growth in some sectors belies a tough year ahead, says ITSA
YTD, ITSA member sales are down 9% YoY, and while the medical sector remains “healthy”, fibre sales are down 37%. "ITSA represents UK connector & component companies supplying the UK electronics industry. Since connectors of all types are fundamental to virtually every technology-based product or system, what ITSA members are experiencing is a pretty accurate barometer of how the UK electronics industry is doing in these unprecedented times," said ITSA Chairman, John Biggs.
02 November 2020: COVID career dream changers search for answers as Tomorrow's Engineers Week starts today...
A generation of young people are rapidly reassessing their career dreams according to new research from EngineeringUK, released to mark the start of its national campaign to inspires the engineers of the future, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2020 (#TEWeek20).
01 November 2020: Reshoring or… rightshoring? Why successful reshoring strategies must focus on quality…
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fragility of long, complex supply chains. It has also shown how reliant many US & European companies are on overseas supply of critical items (for example, PPE or ventilators), bringing back to the fore a long-debated issue: are we ready to reshore?…
01 November 2020: Adjusting to the new normal in UK manufacturing
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has changed all our lives. The next big challenge the manufacturing sector faces is getting employees back to work – safely – and kick-starting production.
28 October 2020: Significant decline in sales of printed electronics due to coronavirus pandemic, reports OE-A
According to the OE-A (Organic & Printed Electronics Association) Business Climate Survey, a decline of 20% is predicted for sales of printed electronics in 2020, followed by an expected partial recovery in 2021, with sales growth of 7% forecast. Also in 2021, industry plans to increase investment in production.
19 October 2020: Innovative 99% germ-killing UV-C lighting product could prove crucial in the COVID-19 era
Essential in the post-COVID-19 era, germ control & disinfection of surfaces can now be achieved using mere light with the newly launched Purelight Flow UV-C from LED lighting & smart home specialist, LED Direct.
16 October 2020: embedded world 2021 goes DIGITAL
Reacting to ongoing conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic & its effects on the global embedded community, NürnbergMesse's embedded world exhibition & conference will take place next year as a completely digital event. Both the trade fair & accompanying embedded world & electronic displays conferences will be held as virtual formats under the name embedded world DIGITAL, over 5 days from March 1-5, 2021 – ensuring participant security & planning in good time.
15 October 2020: CO2 traffic lights rely on Sensirion’s sensor technology for classroom air quality measurement
IoT system integrator, ISIS IC GmbH has chosen environmental sensors expert, Sensirion’s SCD30 CO2 sensor for its CO2 signal lights for classrooms, thus enabling reliable & accurate air quality measurements in schools – helping combat COVID-19. The SCD30 is an ideal solution for determining air quality and for applications in the heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC) sector.
09 October 2020: The Big Bang goes digital for 2021
For this 2020/21 academic year, the Big Bang programme will be delivered digitally, ensuring schools & young people can take part in its popular, inspirational STEM activities while removing the uncertainty around face-to-face events, including The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair.
02 October 2020: Editor's comment – Smart manufacturing in a post-pandemic world…
After a gradual relaxing of the lockdown & coronavirus precautions over the summer months, cases are on the rise again as we head towards autumn & winter. As this issue went to press, the Prime Minister had just announced a tightening of restrictions aimed at heading off a further COVID-19 public health crisis & a potential second lockdown.
01 October 2020: electronica 2020 goes digital…
As travel restrictions across Europe continue to tighten in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the organisers of electronica, the world’s leading trade fair & conference for electronics components, systems & solutions, have confirmed that ‘electronica virtual’ will now replace its usual biennial in-person trade fair in Munich this November, with an expanded digital offering & online conference programme. EPDT Editor, Mark Gradwell reports…
29 September 2020: Industry 4.0 & digital transformation key to manufacturing & supply chain fortunes in post-COVID world
As manufacturers & supply chain partners look to recover from the economic uncertainty precipitated by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, ABI Research’s Digital Transformation Summit will provide 3 days of actionable intelligence to guide technology providers, partners & end users to success.
18 September 2020: UK PM meets the team behind the UK’s Vaccines Manufacturing & Innovation Centre
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson today visited the construction site of what is rapidly becoming the UK’s Vaccines Manufacturing & Innovation Centre (VMIC). He met with scientists, engineers, development & construction teams at the construction site on Harwell Science & Innovation Campus, where he discussed their response to COVID-19 & the fast tracking of the high-tech manufacturing facility.
17 September 2020: Murata’s RFID technology helps Bayer revolutionise transparency of its pharmaceutical supply chain
Murata ID Solutions has helped life sciences giant, Bayer’s Italian division leverage RFID tracking in the first large-scale application of the technology in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The pioneering project has enabled Bayer to gain real-time visibility over its distribution processes to optimise customer service, improve product security & asset tracking, and enhance response to unprecedented threats – such as the coronavirus pandemic.
11 September 2020: £300 million investment to boost UK manufacturing productivity by 30%
Businesses with creative ideas to boost UK manufacturing capabilities & capacity are set to receive £300M of joint government & industry funding, including £147M for Manufacturing Made Smarter to transform #UKMFG through the development & adoption of Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) – helping the sector build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.
10 September 2020: Saliva-based, AI-driven COVID-19 test delivers results in just 20 seconds
UK-headquartered electronics manufacturer, TT Electronics has been working with British tech start-up, iAbra & its partners, including Intel, to design, develop & test the prototype Virolens system, a new saliva-based screening device for COVID-19 that can deliver results in just 20 seconds, and to specify & design its manufacturing process.
08 September 2020: Mesh networking MedTech to protect care home residents, staff & visitors against COVID-19
Specialist app will provide safer environments & better communications by creating geozones. NHS Highland is supporting the deployment, with the first system to be installed at Castlehill Care Home in Inverness.
07 September 2020: SEMICON Europa 2020 follows electronica, cancelling physical event & announcing digital forum
Following Messe Munich's decision in the last few days to cancel its electronica 2020 physical event this November & move to a digital format for this year (in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic & tightening travel restrictions across Europe), SEMI Europe have announced that its co-located SEMICON Europa 2020 exhibition & conference will follow suit, as expected.
05 September 2020: electronica 2020 to be held digitally as coronavirus travel restrictions tighten
As travel restrictions across Europe tighten in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the organisers of electronica, the world’s leading trade fair & conference for electronics, have confirmed that 'electronica virtual' will replace its in-person trade fair in Munich this November, with an expansion of its digital offering & online conference programme.
02 September 2020: STEM Matters – How can STEM education help address the challenges facing young people?...
The recent publication of the 2020 Youth Voice Census is a timely reminder of the need to listen to and value the voices of young people. Over the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic & subsequent lockdown has disrupted education, the workplace and our very way of life.
02 September 2020: Editor's comment – Can the electronics industry break the cycle?...
As the coronavirus pandemic rumbles on, its impact is being felt across every facet of our lives – and that includes the electronics industry. Despite the success & growth of smart technologies & ubiquitous connectivity, as well as emergent mega-trends from IoT, 5G & AI to autonomous & electric vehicles, the electronics industry can still expect to feel the hit to the economy from COVID-19 – with a consensus of industry studies & data backing that up…
01 September 2020: Electronic components market review – how COVID-19 is impacting electronics manufacturing supply chains
Over the last six months – during the unprecedented spread of COVID-19, the subsequent global lockdown and all the challenges that followed – the world has had to quickly adapt to a ‘new normal’.
01 September 2020: Temperature checking solutions for the post-COVID world…
As lockdown gradually lifts and life slowly adapts to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and enhanced levels of hygiene and symptom awareness, the use of temperature checking devices is becoming increasingly common.
12 August 2020: Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme invests in UK manufacturing innovation to boost post-lockdown recovery
NPL has announced its Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme, a scheme to help UK manufacturing recover from the economic effects of lockdown & the COVID-19 crisis. The role of measurement science is vital in getting the UK ‘back to business’ & through its M4R programme, NPL is working with National Measurement Laboratory partners to provide access to cutting-edge expertise.
04 August 2020: ecsn/afdec mid-year update for UK & Ireland electronic components market forecast revised down
ecsn's updated mid-year 2020 forecast released today now points to a 'modest decline' in 2020 revenues for authorised distributors of electronics components in the UK & Ireland, after being revised downwards in response to current economic uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
03 August 2020: Maggy selects Silicon Labs Bluetooth SiP for social distancing wearable designed to fight COVID-19
'Identity-blind' wearable device protects user privacy, while delivering high-performance accuracy to help protect against risk of COVID-19 infection transfer. Silicon Labs Bluetooth SiP accelerates time-to-market for Maggy design team.
02 August 2020: STEM Matters – EngineeringUK analysis – Educational pathways into engineering
For more than 20 years, EngineeringUK have published a comprehensive report on the state of engineering in the UK – covering educational routes into engineering, as well as key data describing the sector & its workforce. Its new report, ‘Educational Pathways into Engineering’ was written before the pandemic and provides a comprehensive picture of the trends in STEM educational participation & attainment across academic & technical pathways into engineering as at March 2020. Despite numerous changes of government & educational policy, the 2007-08 financial crash & the advent of Brexit, the need for the UK to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is now providing the most uncertain & challenging context to date for the research.
02 August 2020: Editor's comment – In STEM, diversity matters...
As we start to emerge from lockdown – and try to figure out what the ‘new normal’ will look like for all of us – STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) has a vital role to play in the process. Critically, scientists are leading the search for a vaccine & other drug therapies to combat the virus – as well as doing the research & providing the advice to help inform government policy decisions.
01 August 2020: 4G technologies provide diagnostic image transmission services at Nightingale Hospital
To accelerate diagnosis & treatment of COVID-19 patients, UK-based specialist in medical image acquisition, distribution, management & display solutions, Visbion partnered with IoT & embedded computing expert, Advantech & M2M communications solution provider, Adey Electronics to offer the NHS a fast & secure solution for sending CT scans from mobile CT scanner units to hospitals.
01 August 2020: Improving manufacturing resilience through industrial automation
For manufacturers, maintaining plant productivity without any workers being present to operate the machines is a daunting prospect. But, with the current coronavirus pandemic highlighting the present need for plants to be managed both remotely & seamlessly, this challenge has now become very real.
01 August 2020: Factors to consider when specifying thermal imaging cameras for COVID-19 screening
The coronavirus pandemic has created worldwide demand for infrared cameras that are able to screen humans for a fever condition. But how can you be sure the camera you select can actually do the job it is supposed to do, asks Glenn Wedgbrow, Business Development Manager at measurement technology specialist, Micro-Epsilon.
01 August 2020: Increasing manufacturing productivity for the ‘new normal’ – outputs vs. inputs
As the manufacturing industry emerges from lockdown and approaches a ‘new normal’, the competitive landscape will see some changes – and those quick off the mark could gain an advantage...
29 July 2020: How COVID-19 is making STEM cool for careers, according to new IET research
New research by the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) has revealed that young people have taken inspiration from healthcare professionals & engineers during the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance their perceptions of real and life changing engineering & science to consider these roles for future careers.
28 July 2020: CES 2021 moves to all-digital experience
In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced that CES 2021 – from January 6-9, 2021 – will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders & media from around the world. The new format will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies & the latest product launches, and engage with global brands & startups from around the world.
28 July 2020: COVID-19 educational online event watched by thousands of eager students & STEM fans
'Big Bang Digital 2020 – science, engineering & Covid-19', the one-day digital STEM event which took place in mid-July, has given almost 50,000 young people the opportunity to listen to and speak with scientists, engineers, technicians, healthcare professionals & students about the essential role of science & engineering during a pandemic. Sessions from the day are now available to view on demand.
15 July 2020: COVID-19 crisis increases demand for OKW’s medical handheld enclosures
During the current Coronavirus pandemic, OKW is seeing rising interest in & demand for its medical electronic enclosures – notably its CARRYTEC handheld cases.
14 July 2020: UK power supply manufacturer steps up to support healthcare response to coronavirus crisis
As the world’s largest manufacturer of healthcare power supplies, used in critical medical & laboratory applications globally, TDK Corporation's power supply division, TDK-Lambda has stepped up to support the response to the coronavirus challenge. Many of these products are built in TDK-Lambda UK’s factory in Ilfracombe, Devon – and used in critical medical applications supporting the COVID-19 healthcare response.
10 July 2020: Contactless technology automates the hotel experience for guests & operators
Plug-and-play IoT technology solution enables 'contactless hotels', improving the experience for guests & reducing costs for operators – especially during this coronavirus pandemic – as well as delivering invaluable insights.
03 July 2020: Home-made electronics prove key to lockdown mental health for 2.5M makers, says national research
Over 2.5 million Brits report that a hobby in electronics has been key for maintenance of their mental wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, according to national research, with 21% of electronics makers & hobbyists inspired to start a business during lockdown.
02 July 2020: Editor's comment – How COVID-19 is impacting UK manufacturing...
As the nation starts to take the first tentative steps to restart the economy, many are wondering what life after lockdown might look like: what will change & what will stay the same? As I pondered these questions in the run-up to writing my column this month, I was invited to attend an online press event featuring a panel of industrial experts discussing the effects of this COVID-19 pandemic on UK manufacturing – perfect timing!...
02 July 2020: Big Bang is back! Only this time it's going digital...
After being forced to cancel its Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair earlier this year in response to coronavirus, EngineeringUK has now launched a STEM & COVID-19-themed digital event. Meet the inspirational scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians & students doing incredible things during this coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
02 July 2020: Editorial – How COVID-19 is accelerating IoT & Industry 4.0…
Since IIoT remains a hot topic for our sector – as electronics, sensing, intelligence & connectivity continue to proliferate throughout consumer & industrial products, systems & infrastructure – EPDT continues to cover it in this IoT & Industry 4.0 supplement. Let’s consider how COVID-19 is accelerating adoption of IoT & Industry 4.0…
01 July 2020: How to COVID-proof your electronics design projects
It’s fair to say that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work will probably never be quite the same again. The coronavirus crisis has brought about challenges for electronics design teams – whether in-house or among partners. And while there are plenty of tools & resources for office workers in terms of remote working, communications & collaboration, what about challenges & solutions more specific to design engineers & electronic product development?...
01 July 2020: Putting things in a better light: lockdown & beyond…
Even before people around the world were told to ‘stay at home’ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, smart lighting has been illuminating a new pathway for improved everyday life. Personalised solutions are just beginning to penetrate indoor & outdoor spaces, and are poised for significant growth as wireless standards & ecosystems continue to align.
01 July 2020: Guest blog from new DPA Assistant Editor – Coal & COVID-19 – The road to recovery...
Read this guest blog from new Assistant Editor over at sister title, DPA, Sophia Bell on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the environment.
30 June 2020: £6.5m boost for SME manufacturers looking to recover from COVID-19 impact
Small to medium-sized (SME) manufacturers across England have been given a £6.5m funding boost, via the Manufacturing Growth Programme, to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic & address key barriers to growth.
26 June 2020: Assuring post-lockdown workplace security & safety with temperature sensing tablets
As the world attempts to resume normal working life post-COVID-19, designer, distributor & value added reseller of display solutions, Crystal Display Systems (CDS) is partnering with commercial tablet & kiosk specialist, Glory Star to help assure security & safety in post-lockdown workplaces.
23 June 2020: Viewpoint – Globalised manufacturing supply chains under the spotlight in a post-COVID-19 world
As the world recovers from coronavirus, globalisation is up for debate. Many influencers – across industry & government – are calling for corporations to build resilience into global supply chains. But what does this mean? Does it mean we need to localise all manufacturing, as some have suggested – or does it mean just the opposite? Adrian Lloyd, CEO at intelligent automation market research firm, Interact Analysis explores...
22 June 2020: Manufacturers must rethink global operations in face of COVID-19, says study
Manufacturers must redesign & reform their global supply chains & global production networks (GPN) if they want to survive & prosper in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study reveals.
19 June 2020: Digital technologies will be key to developing the UK’s long-term reshoring strategy
Embracing digital technologies – from CAD & PLM (product lifecycle management) tools to augmented reality & industrial IoT – will need to be a key component of any successful post-COVID-19 UK reshoring strategy, warns industrial innovation technology specialist, PTC.
18 June 2020: HoverGames 2: NXP robotics competition challenges developers to "Help Drones Help Others"
Robotics & coding competition challenges engineers & developers to leverage NXP’s industrial, automotive & IoT portfolio to develop drone/UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or rover small autonomous vehicles for pandemic support.
09 June 2020: High-performance optical filters improve speed & accuracy of qPCR coronavirus tests
Optical filters play a crucial role in fluorescence microscopy measurements used to detect the coronavirus pathogen, SARSCoV2. With its expanded Ultra series, LASER COMPONENTS now offers optical filters specifically developed for real-time qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thus enabling patient samples to be analysed faster & more efficiently.
08 June 2020: RS expands support to frontline health workers around the world with 3D-printed PPE
The success of the UK's National 3D Printing Society’s initiative has allowed RS to refocus its efforts on the international need for 3D-printed face visors during COVID-19 pandemic.
03 June 2020: Public gives vote of confidence for UK manufacturing in new research
The UK public stands firmly behind the manufacturing sector to support the UK & protect the NHS through the coronavirus pandemic & into the future, according to new research in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic aiming to provide a national ‘barometer’ to UK manufacturing & engineering.
02 June 2020: Editor's comment – Will COVID-19 accelerate technology adoption curves?...
I hope you’re all staying safe. Like many of you, I’ve had to resort to a lockdown haircut. Life has changed enormously in a short space of time – and even when we finally begin to get back to ‘normal’, things will probably never be quite the same again. While worries about the economy persist, hopefully some things will also change for the better – and as ever, technology, usually created by engineers, will be a crucial enabler...
02 June 2020: STEM Matters – The COVID-19 crisis will accelerate EdTech adoption
The current coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had a dramatic and pervasive impact on almost every facet of our society and daily lives – including education.
01 June 2020: ecsn Chairman’s intro – Keeping this show on the road
The primary concern for members of the Electronic Components Supply Network (ecsn) throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic has been the avoidance of infection for the people they employ, their families & the wider community. In this intro to EPDT's Distribution Supplement, ecsn Chairman, Adam Fletcher discusses how the UK electronic components sector has reorganised during the current crisis – and outlines the measures ecsn members have taken to date to “keep the show on the road”...
01 June 2020: Farnell supports customers & supply chain in fight against COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a huge impact on the way businesses operate & how they interact with customers. As Rob Rospedzihowski, President, EMEA Sales at electronic components distributor, Farnell tells us, one challenge has been in the way that distributors manage their supply & demand criteria to ensure vital products are delivered as quickly as possible to the people who need them most.
01 June 2020: How Digi-Key is innovating to strengthen customer support through the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic & subsequent stay-at-home orders designed to limit its spread have caused sweeping changes to all aspects of life, including the global economy, the way companies do business & international supply chains.
01 June 2020: Manufacturers unite to target reshoring opportunities & new supply chain capability
A new initiative – UK Manufacturing Unite (#UKMFGUnite) – designed to build UK industrial capability and increase reshoring has got off to a flying start, after £625,000 of orders were placed in the first few weeks.
29 May 2020: In-Comm Training launches ‘COVID-19 Secure’ service to help businesses get back to work
Companies looking to return back to work safely as the lockdown begins to ease can tap into a new service launched by In-Comm Training that will help them become ‘COVID-19 Secure’.
28 May 2020: Increasing demand for thermal imaging cameras, due to COVID-19
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the way we do business, Swiss company, Hilpert electronics, the official sales partner for the German-speaking sales region of Nippon Avionics Co, has reported increased demand in recent weeks for the Japanese manufacturer’s thermal imaging cameras, which it also distributes.
27 May 2020: Manufacturing much-needed display sub-assemblies for NHS ventilators during COVID-19 crisis
RDS display & embedded systems expertise comes to the fore in these challenging times, as UK manufacturers step up to help design, manufacture, test & supply ventilators to the NHS to help address the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
26 May 2020: Prodrive helps create low-cost ventilator for worldwide use against COVID-19 – especially in developing nations
To support the fight against COVID-19, British motorsport & advanced technology engineering business, Prodrive has worked with Cambridge University to develop & prototype a new low-cost ventilator for global use – especially in low-income developing countries.
25 May 2020: New touchless input & control panel with hygiene benefits proposed by Alps Alpine
New input solution provides safe & easy control with peace of mind in no-touch situations – addressing settings needing improved hygiene, as well as helping offer reassurance during this COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
21 May 2020: IMechE view on Cambridge Uni moving lectures online for next academic year in response to COVID-19
Lydia Amarquaye, Education Policy Adviser at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) responds to news from Cambridge University that its lectures will go online for next academic year (2020/21), commenting on the impact for engineering students.
19 May 2020: Fever detection using infrared cameras to quickly identify people with elevated body temperature
Rapidly spreading viral diseases, such as COVID-19, have lead to increased need to determine body temperature quickly & reliably, using infrared measurement technology. But checking each person individually can be cumbersome & time-consuming. That's why Optris has now launched a new system based on its PI 450i infrared camera, which has an optical resolution of 382 x 288 pixels.
19 May 2020: Most countries will surpass 2019 levels of manufacturing production by 2024, as world emerges from COVID-19, says industry tracker
Global manufacturing output is predicted to be down by 7.6% in 2020; but most countries will exceed 2019 levels of production by 2024, according to Interact Analysis. Transportation-related sectors (aerospace, automotive & commercial) are likely to be the worst hit; food & beverage sectors the least. US, UK, Italy, India & Brazil to be the worst affected; Korea & China the least.
19 May 2020: Manufacturers urged to take ‘Skills Pledge’ to protect apprentice pipeline in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
UK skills training provider, In-Comm Training has launched a new campaign to ensure apprenticeships are protected as manufacturers seek to find ways of coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
18 May 2020: COVID-19 places augmented reality at the heart of the ‘new working normal’
COVID-19 will accelerate industry’s move to augmented reality (AR) and other IoT solutions, as design, manufacturing & engineering companies across the UK look to adapt to a ‘new working normal’.
17 May 2020: Major funding boost for VMIC will rapidly expand UK capacity to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine
The Vaccines Manufacturing & Innovation Centre (VMIC), a not-for-profit organisation providing the UK’s first strategic vaccine development & advanced manufacturing capability, has been awarded up to £131 million by the government, boosting investment in the UK’s vaccines infrastructure & increasing capacity to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine.
15 May 2020: Honeywell expands PPE face mask production in Europe with new manufacturing line at UK electronics plant
The UK government & Honeywell have signed an agreement for 70 million FFP2 & FFP3 PPE face masks to support the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new production line will create approximately 450 jobs in Newhouse, Scotland.
12 May 2020: Apprentice breakthrough to keep industry moving & overcome COVID-19 crisis
Remote end-point assessment boosts business recovery hopes: British business is being urged by industry leaders & Unions to adopt newly developed techniques to ensure that thousands of young apprentices can still qualify during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
11 May 2020: LSE IDEAS think tank debates likelihood of de-globalisation post-COVID-19
LSE IDEAS (London School of Economics’ foreign policy think tank, & #1 ranked university-affiliated think tank in the world) has discussed the impact of COVID-19 on globalisation in a virtual debate, hosted on Facebook Live & YouTube.
11 May 2020: Industrial social distancing solution can help expedite reopening as lockdown eases
In response to this national crisis, Wearable Technologies has developed a smart tech proximity warning solution for social distancing, with employer reporting, that may help enable industrial customers, such as manufacturers, to expedite reopening as COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased.
11 May 2020: Thousands of manufacturing jobs could be saved if COVID-19 furlough scheme is extended, predicts CBM
Extending the COVID-19 furlough scheme and giving companies more flexibility could save thousands of UK manufacturing jobs, it was claimed today by manufacturing trade body, the Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM).
06 May 2020: Manufacturing hardest hit by COVID-19 lockdown, says report – but hints at brighter future
UK Powerhouse report reveals UK manufacturing is losing £540m per day during the current coronavirus lockdown, due to falls in consumer demand – but hints at a brighter future post-lockdown, as manufacturers rise to the COVID-19 challenge & the value of the sector to the economy becomes clearer.
04 May 2020: MicroCare offers IPA alternatives for electronics assembly during COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is making availability of isopropyl alcohol (also known as isopropanol or IPA), the most common & widely used disinfectant within cleanrooms & electronics manufacturing, scarce.
03 May 2020: Editor's comment – Not all heroes wear masks...
I hope you & your families are staying safe in these strange times. As I write this column in mid-April, this last month or so of coronavirus & life under lockdown certainly shows how quickly things can change in just a few short weeks...
01 May 2020: Engineering Design Show postponed from October 2020 till 31st March-1st April 2021
MA Exhibitions, the events arm of media company, The Mark Allen Group has announced that it has taken the difficult decision to reschedule its event, The Engineering Design Show from 14-15 October 2020 to March 31-April 1 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
01 May 2020: Rail Live 2020 postponed to September...
With over 250 exhibitors & 5,000 visitors each year, plus real rolling stock on display in a real-world environment, Rail Live is the only exhibition to bring the entire rail industry together in a real railway environment. Originally scheduled for June 17-18 at Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC), Long Marston, due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the show has now been postponed to Wednesday 9th-Thursday 10th September 2020.
30 April 2020: Scottish Microelectronics Centre engineers vital parts to support COVID-19 healthcare
The Scottish Microelectronics Centre (SMC), a research facility based within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, is helping technology companies to manufacture critical parts for use in intensive care units (ICUs) during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
29 April 2020: Survey – What a new start on the roads after the COVID-19 pandemic looks like...
1,000 UK citizens surveyed on road traffic behaviour and use of smart electronic navigation devices for Kapsch TrafficCom Index.
28 April 2020: Powerbox COVID-19 Task Force provides strategic business support to medical applications
Powerbox (PRBX), one of Europe’s largest power supply companies, is working diligently to support customers using its power supply products in medical applications addressing the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to ensure that its overall customer support & service can continue without interruption.
27 April 2020: SME manufacturers need urgent financial support as job losses loom amid Coronavirus crisis
Latest Manufacturing Barometer highlights lack of confidence in Government support, with sales & production volumes set to fall among SME businesses.
24 April 2020: Minecraft-based world from Enginuity aims to unearth inner engineering talent
From the UK’s leading engineering brains at Enginuity (formerly Semta), supported by The Princes Trust, this fun Minecraft server-based game assesses STEM skills potential in a lockdown game changer for engineering. Harnessing the power of gaming – and Minecraft, the biggest & one of the most played games in the world – it aims to identify STEM talent via a non-academic route to help power the nation’s economic recovery when the lockdown is lifted.
23 April 2020: Hackster.io partners with UN to rally global engineering community against COVID-19
In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Hackster.io, with its partners including Amazon Web Services, Arduino, Arm, Google & Microsoft, is leading efforts to bring forward low-cost, deployable solutions to detect & protect from coronavirus in developing regions, through its COVID-19 ‘Detect & Protect Challenge’.
21 April 2020: UK's Vaccines Manufacturing & Innovation Centre (VMIC) fast-tracked at Harwell campus
Construction work has begun ahead of schedule to build the highly specialist facility that will house the UK’s Vaccines Manufacturing & Innovation Centre (VMIC) at Harwell Science & Innovation Campus. VMIC, a not for profit organisation, will provide the first bespoke strategic vaccine development & manufacturing capability for the UK.
21 April 2020: NMITE rallies engineering & logisitics resources to support COVID-19 PPE response
New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE) has converted its administration offices at Gardner Hall, Hereford into a makeshift factory producing vitally needed PPE items for both NHS acute hospitals & local care homes.
20 April 2020: RS rallies DesignSpark engineering community to 3D-print visors to help protect COVID-19 health workers
RS Components is donating RS PRO PLA filament to provide enough for 20,000 visor frames to support the National 3D Printing Society initiative, enabling essential PPE to quickly reach frontline medical & care staff dealing with coronavirus in the UK.
15 April 2020: Component production & shipping vital for consumer electronics during COVID-19 crisis, says GlobalData
When COVID-19 broke out in China, the country was quick to slow down its production, eventually ceasing all manufacturing as the country went into lockdown. This had a drastic effect on global supply chains, as many industries, including the consumer electronics sector, are heavily reliant on components that are manufactured in China & could no longer access these resources, according to data & analytics company, GlobalData.
14 April 2020: Funding available for UK Space companies to support Coronavirus response
A new drive to fund space-enabled technology & services that can strengthen the NHS response to coronavirus has been launched today by the UK Space Agency in a joint initiative with the European Space Agency (ESA).
14 April 2020: Viewpoint – Is the coronavirus crisis a chance to go even greener?...
In the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the lighting industry, like so many parts of the economy, faces extraordinary challenges. Mick Ventola, founder & Managing Director of Leicestershire-based electrical installations & LED lighting specialist, Ventola Projects, explores the lessons we can learn during this tough period & how the lighting industry can grasp it as a timely opportunity to build on the great work it has already done to reduce its environmental impact.
14 April 2020: IMechE Chartered Engineers at Scottish firm design new PPE face shield for NHS workers
In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, IMechE Chartered Engineers at Scottish engineering companies have designed a new face shield for the NHS, with over 3,000 shields made in the first 2 weeks & supplied to the ICU unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. After the design was approved Friday afternoon, weekend working enabled the first 280 shields to be delivered on Monday.
09 April 2020: Coronavirus crowd management for social distancing with SignalSET from WERMA
In essential supply chains, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered demand on an unprecedented scale. Not all businesses are ramping up productivity however, and where industrial battery-powered equipment, such as electric forklifts, is likely to be idle for prolonged periods, appropriate care is vital to keep batteries in peak condition.
09 April 2020: Analog Devices supports WHO & partners with Global Citizen in fight against COVID-19
ADI is partnering with international advocacy organisation, Global Citizen on a televised and streamed special “One World: Together At Home” to be hosted April 18, 2020 in support of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
09 April 2020: Why 5G conspiracy theory is physically impossible: debunking coronavirus fake news
NHS GP, Dr Gero Baiarda is one of hundreds of GPs currently on-call at GP-on-demand service, GPDQ. Since launching his ‘myth-busting’ series 10 days ago, Dr Baiarda has become a media ‘go-to’ for information on what to believe, or not, in the interest of our health during the COVID-19 pandemic – including 5G conspiracy theories.
09 April 2020: Manufacturing Barometer reveals worrying picture for SME manufacturers already hit by COVID-19
SME manufacturers in England are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87% of companies identifying significant decreases in production volumes. The latest survey shows reduction in volumes, potential job cuts & confusion around Government support. However, 1 in 5 manufacturers have answered the government’s urgent call for additional NHS equipment.
08 April 2020: UK manufacturers need £650m in April to survive 2020 in wake of coronavirus crisis
UK manufacturers are facing a precarious future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to insights from fintech business lender, MarketFinance. Over two thirds (68%) reported their order books have halved in the last 30 days. To compound matters, the majority (67%) have less than £50k cash – and without any support, will run out of money before the end of the month.
07 April 2020: Semtech LoRa devices integrated into Polysense smart infrared temperature sensors, helping address COVID-19 crisis
Smart human body sensors enable healthcare workers to identify individuals with a high temperature. Ideal for coronavirus COVID-19 response efforts, the solution has recently shipped to Italy to aid its containment efforts.
07 April 2020: New ‘saliva test’ to instantly detect COVID-19 coronavirus with lasers
European photonics scientists are developing an ultrasensitive laser sensor that detects coronavirus at the earliest point of infection from a saliva or nasal swab in just minutes.
07 April 2020: UK design & manufacture secures connector supply chain, despite coronavirus crisis
Cliff Electronics, a Redhill-based manufacturer of connectors & test products delivers UK-manufactured products to OEMs & global distributors from stock held in it its own factory. Thanks to its flexible UK-based design & manufacturing facility, the company is well-placed to fulfill the demands of its customers – even during the current COVID-19 crisis – and continues to grow & expand into new markets.
07 April 2020: IR detectors used in breath gas analysis switched to multi-shift production due to COVID-19 crisis
Due to current high demand for medical technology, LASER COMPONENTS Detector Group has switched its production of IR detectors to multi-shift operation. The components, manufactured in Arizona, are key elements in the examination of CO2 levels in breath gas analysis. In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, production capacities in the medical technology sector must be increased significantly to provide urgently needed equipment.
07 April 2020: Ultraseal ramps up production to meet coronavirus ventilators call
To help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Ultraseal International is now working around the clock in a bid to meet ventilator demand from the NHS and around the world.
07 April 2020: Advice on industrial battery care during the COVID-19 crisis from Hoppecke
In essential supply chains, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered demand on an unprecedented scale. Not all businesses are ramping up productivity however, and where industrial battery-powered equipment, such as electric forklifts, is likely to be idle for prolonged periods, appropriate care is vital to keep batteries in peak condition.
02 April 2020: iED & Keele Uni call for engineers to help solve NHS & healthcare issues amid COVID-19 pandemic
A new project, the Engineers for the NHS initiative, has been launched by the iED, in conjunction with Keele University, to unite engineers & designers from across the world to help solve challenges deriving from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
02 April 2020: Williams Advanced Engineering proud to be part of the COVID-19 NHS ventilator challenge
Technology & engineering services business, Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) is playing a significant role in an Aerospace consortium to produce medical ventilators for use by the NHS during the COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic.
02 April 2020: Editor's comment – Coronavirus – will anything ever be the same again?...
Working on this column for EPDT's April issue in early March, there seemed little alternative but to write about coronavirus. Even a few short weeks ago, COVID-19 was increasingly dominating the news cycle & media, with the scale, scope & span of the global crisis growing rapidly.
01 April 2020: Innovative access system for personnel safety to help combat spread of COVID-19
The safety of personnel is of the upmost importance, especially during these challenging times. To help its customers find solutions to protect employees & visitors, electronic manufacturing capital equipment distributor, Altus Group has introduced a new & innovative access control system which automatically measures body temperature when staff pass through it.
30 March 2020: Midlands Innovation universities support the fight against COVID-19
As the situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic rapidly escalates & changes, universities in the Midlands are uniting to help with the fight against the virus outbreak.
30 March 2020: VentilatorChallengeUK industry consortium helps scale up ventilator production for NHS to combat COVID-19 outbreak
A consortium of leading UK industrial, technology & engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive & medical sectors, has come together to produce medical ventilators for the UK during this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
30 March 2020: Anglia COVID-19 task force prioritises available inventory & design support for ventilators
Electronics distributor, Anglia Components has formed a COVID-19 task force to coordinate & allocate available inventory & application engineering resources to support customers designing or manufacturing ventilators and other vital medical equipment to help address the coronavirus emergency.
27 March 2020: Opinion – Who has the data that could help us combat the spread of coronavirus?...
How can new technologies help us fight the spread of COVID-19? Massimo Canducci, Chief Innovation Officer at Italian digital transformation experts, the Engineering Group tells us why he believes there is an urgent need to define a regulatory framework that ensures the protection of privacy – but that also contemplates any exceptional requirements that may arise...
26 March 2020: Working from home? Get your free copy of EPDT magazine redirected to home...
Working from home due to COVID-19, but still want to receive your printed copy of EPDT? For the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, get your monthly copy of EPDT temporarily redirected & delivered direct to your home address.
26 March 2020: No Hannover Messe in 2020: industrial trade show cancelled for first time in 73-year history, due to COVID-19
Show organisers, Deutsche Messe AG have announced that, due to the increasingly critical situation surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Hannover Messe cannot take place this year – and so has now been cancelled for 2020.
26 March 2020: COVID-19 manufacturing slowdowns + increased demand will balance to 16M AR & VR HMD shipments in 2021
ABI Research whitepaper identifies the short- & long-term impacts the coronavirus global pandemic will have on the market for augmented & virtual reality (AR/VR) head mounted displays (HMDs).
23 March 2020: Digi-Key teams up with University of Minnesota to try & end COVID-19 ventilator shortage
As a potential solution to the US COVID-19 ventilator shortage, electronic components distributor, Digi-Key is collaborating with the University of Minnesota to create a plan to make parts for low-cost respirators – devices that could help save lives.
23 March 2020: How Xilinx is helping to fight Coronavirus around the world: President & CEO on COVID-19
Xilinx President & CEO, Victor Peng has shared this blog post regarding COVID-19 and how Xilinx technology is helping play a role in combatting Coronavirus...
20 March 2020: Government calls for manufacturers to help make NHS ventilators [NOW UPDATED with link to specification]
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is looking for businesses to support the production & supply of ventilators & ventilator components across the UK as part of the Government's response to COVID-19. [NOW UPDATED with link to specification – 20/03/20]
18 March 2020: UK manufacturing & industrial engineering not prepared for home working, research reveals
New research from employee experience & workplace performance experts, Leesman suggests that UK manufacturing & industrial engineering is one of the least prepared industries to implement & weather a mass home working strategy, in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
18 March 2020: COVID-19 pandemic will force firms to radically rethink how they embrace technological investment
ABI Research Analysts share their thoughts on the likely short- & long-term impacts the global coronavirus pandemic will have on technology and end markets.
18 March 2020: HVM Catapult CEO defers retirement to support UK manufacturing COVID-19 response
Dick Elsy, Chief Executive Officer of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, has announced that he will defer his planned retirement to support the manufacturing sector’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
17 March 2020: COVID-19 – The Ventilator Challenge – call for UK manufacturers to help...
Responding to the coronavirus pandemic & reducing the spread of the peak requires a national effort. Last night, the Prime Minister called on the UK’s manufacturers to help step up production of vital medical equipment, such as ventilators. He set the ambition for industry to manufacture as many new ventilators as possible, so we can help the most vulnerable & our NHS, whose staff are working round the clock.
17 March 2020: Coronavirus outbreak reveals weakest links in manufacturing supply chain, say ABI Research
For many firms, the outbreak of COVID-19 means more staff working from home & increased use of teleconferencing, rather than face-to-face meetings. However, it’s a different situation for manufacturers because, despite investments in automation, helping reduce the need for staff on assembly lines, they still need to receive raw materials.
16 March 2020: Opinion – Opportunities for the electronics industry in the wake of COVID-19
Joe Booth, Business Development & Marketing Director at electronic manufacturing equipment distributor, Altus shares his thoughts on the coronavirus crisis impact on the electronics industry – and the potential opportunity for UK & European electronics manufacturers.
13 March 2020: PCIM Europe 2020 exhibition & conference postponed till 28–30 July in response to coronavirus outbreak
Due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in Europe, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has decided to postpone this year's PCIM Europe exhibition & conference from 5–7 May 2020 to 28–30 July 2020. The venue remains the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. Visitor tickets already purchased are valid for the new date.
12 March 2020: Shortage of alcohol-based fluxes for electronics manufacturing due to coronavirus, say Emil Otto
The spreading coronavirus is now effecting production & availability of alcohol-based fluxes for electronics manufacturing, with rising prices & even sold out stocks the latest developments. Water-based or hybrid fluxes, with low alcohol additions, are moving into focus as a market-independent alternative for use in electronics production, according to flux experts, Emil Otto.
11 March 2020: Anglia announces new measures to support electronics customers through Coronavirus
Electronics distributor, Anglia Components has put in place extensive measures to minimise the supply chain impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on its customers – and to protect its staff.
07 March 2020: Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus fears
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair has announced today that this year’s Fair – due to take place from 11th to 14th March 2020 at the NEC, Birmingham – has been cancelled.
06 March 2020: Coronavirus continues to impact global consumer electronics markets, says Futuresource Consulting
Efforts to halt the spread of the health crisis caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has infected almost 100,000 people across 80 countries at the time of writing, is causing significant disruption to global supply chains.
04 March 2020: HANNOVER MESSE 2020 postponed due to coronavirus fears
Responding to global developments related to Coronavirus, Deutsche Messe AG has taken the decision to postpone this year's HANNOVER MESSE 2020 to the week of 13 to 17 July.
26 February 2020: embedded world 2020 delivers specialist knowledge for the global embedded community
embedded world 2020 opened its doors yesterday morning as planned, despite coronavirus fears precipitating a raft of high profile exhibitor cancellations (more than 150) & an anticipated fall in visitor numbers. Around 900 companies offering embedded technologies ranging from components, modules & complete systems to operating systems, hardware, software & services still presented themselves at the trade fair.
27 February 2020: Coronavirus will hinder China’s economic development, LSE think tank report reveals
The coronavirus could represent a significant long-term economic issue for China, alongside a serious health pandemic, says new report from no.1 ranked university affiliated foreign policy think tank, LSE IDEAS.
18 February 2020: Update – embedded world trade fair to open its doors next week, despite coronavirus fears
“We are pleased that the embedded industry will come together again in Nuremberg next week.” With these words, the CEOs of NürnbergMesse, Dr Roland Fleck & Peter Ottmann attempted to summarise the mood of many exhibitors one week before the start of embedded world.
17 February 2020: embedded world 2020 to go ahead as planned, say NürnbergMesse – but list of exhibitors dropping out now exceeds 100...
Despite the cancellation of this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, show organisers, NürnbergMesse confirmed today that embedded world 2020 is to take place as planned, regardless of a number of high profile exhibitor cancellations (the total now numbers more than 50) related to fears around Coronavirus.
17 February 2020: European manufacturers critical to mitigating Coronavirus China components shortage, says Prime Light
European manufacturers hold the key to alleviating worldwide shortages in LED & other lighting components, as Chinese factories halt production in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, according to lighting industry experts, Prime Light.
14 February 2020: Coronavirus afflicting electronics supply chains, potentially impacting 5G deployment, says Omdia
Coronavirus is spreading throughout global technology supply chains, impacting diverse & interconnected sectors of the electronics industry, according to global tech research firm, Omdia. With the epidemic arriving at dawn of 5G’s mainstream deployment phase, coronavirus has the potential to disrupt progress of the next-generation wireless standard, as the crisis slows, or threatens to slow, production of key smartphone components, including displays & semiconductors.
12 February 2020: Breaking news – Mobile World Congress 2020 finally cancelled due to Coronavirus fears
The world's largest mobile telecoms show, which typically attracts over 100,000 visitors & over 2,000 exhibiting companies, has finally been cancelled this week after a raft of cancellations from exhibitors due to Coronavirus fears.
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