3D printing for PPE.
Fantastic advances have been made with 3D printing since its inception in the 1980s. Since the start of the outbreak, we’ve seen huge developments and mass production began on a range of medical equipment and PPE for hospitals and emergency responders across the country - including protective masks, ventilators and other vital life-saving machinery. There’s also been a monumental effort from both the engineering and construction industries to erect the Nightingale hospitals up and down England.
Rethinking the supply chain.
As we move into the next phase of getting Britain back to work, the new challenge facing engineers is designing appropriate safety equipment for the wider public. Practicality, efficiency and affordability will be key, whether these are screens to be inserted in the UK’s offices or personal masks to be worn on public transport. The challenge with both of these things is the limited supply chain from overseas since regulations became stricter. Firms have had to respond with increased levels of collaboration and there has been an increase in homegrown manufacturing of core materials.
The future of engineering.
The outbreak will certainly mean some shifts for the UK engineering industry as we currently know it. We’re hopefully on the brink of some very exciting changes as we all find out what our ‘new normal’ looks like.
We’re expecting to see greater collaboration between industries and subsequently an even larger increase in domestic manufacturing. The pandemic has also shown us where we, as an industry can improve. We’ll hopefully begin to experience a greater adoption and automation of the digital tools we use; making us more efficient and minimising the risk of human errors down the line.
The public image and understanding of engineering as an industry has never been better. People are able to see the direct impact engineering can have and we hope that more young people will be inspired to pursue it as a career, through apprenticeships and higher education.
The rate of response from the UK engineering industry has been astonishing. Many workers are putting themselves on the front line to help the British public to stay safe and to save the lives of those affected by the Coronavirus. At Parable, we’re proud to be part of an industry doing so much to change lives and keep our country moving forward.
As we begin to look at life beyond the outbreak, we’re ready to see what the future has in store for the engineering industry and meet head-on the challenges we face next.
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