Crossing the chasm from R&D to production

30 & 31 October 2024

NEC, Birmingham

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30 & 31 Oct 2024 | NEC Birmingham

Crossing the chasm from R&D to production

London, 28/06/2023

Engineering practices for manufacturing excellence

In today’s fast-paced manufacturing landscape, companies face the challenge of rapidly transforming innovative ideas from the research and development (R&D) stage into viable, volume production processes. However, it is essential to approach this transition in a sustainable manner that considers the environmental impact and ensures long-term success. Here, Charlotte Taylor, marketing manager and sustainability champion for Advanced Engineering explores some key tips for manufacturers to carry out engineering quickly and sustainably, from the R&D stage to volume production — fostering longevity and environmental responsibility.

Efficiency is paramount in the manufacturing industry. With increasing competition and customer demands, manufacturers need to find ways to streamline their engineering processes. By focusing on efficiency, manufacturers can reduce costs, improve productivity and deliver products to the market faster. Efficient engineering practices enable manufacturers to stay ahead of the competition and respond to market trends more effectively. Additionally, by incorporating sustainable practices into their engineering processes, manufacturers can minimise their environmental impact and contribute to a greener future.

One of the key aspects of engineering efficiency is optimising the R&D stage, which sets the foundation for the entire engineering process and plays a crucial role in determining the success of a product. Manufacturers must invest time and resources into thorough research and feasibility studies to ensure that their products meet market needs and align with their business objectives. Additionally, establishing clear goals and timelines at the R&D stage helps manufacturers stay on track and avoid unnecessary delays during the engineering process.

To streamline the design process, manufacturers should consider using computer-aided design (CAD) software and other advanced tools. CAD software allows engineers to create accurate and detailed product designs, enabling them to identify and rectify potential issues early on. By using these tools, manufacturers can reduce design iterations, minimise errors, and speed up the overall engineering process. Furthermore, incorporating simulation software into the design phase can help manufacturers optimise the performance and durability of their products before physical prototypes are created.

Collaboration is key in engineering projects, especially in large-scale manufacturing operations. Effective collaboration between cross-functional teams such as design, engineering, and production, is vital for ensuring a smooth and efficient engineering process. Manufacturers should invest in communication and collaboration tools that facilitate real-time information sharing and collaboration. By breaking down silos and encouraging open communication, manufacturers can minimise miscommunications, foster innovation, and improve overall productivity.

Implementing agile project management methodologies can also significantly improve engineering efficiency in manufacturing. Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, emphasise flexibility, adaptability, and iterative development. By breaking down a project into smaller, manageable tasks and setting shorter development cycles, manufacturers can respond quickly to changes, prioritise tasks effectively, and deliver products faster. Agile methodologies promote transparency, collaboration, and continuous improvement, enabling manufacturers to optimise their engineering processes and adapt to market demands more efficiently.

Quality control and testing should be integrated into every stage of the engineering process to ensure that products meet the required standards. Manufacturers should implement rigorous quality control measures, including regular inspections, testing, and validation processes. By identifying and rectifying issues early on, manufacturers can prevent costly rework and reduce the risk of product failures. Additionally, implementing automated testing processes can help manufacturers streamline testing procedures and improve overall efficiency.

Managing costs and resources is crucial for sustainable engineering in manufacturing. Manufacturers should carefully plan and allocate resources, ensuring that they are utilised optimally throughout the engineering process. By monitoring and controlling costs, manufacturers can prevent budget overruns and maximise return on investment. Additionally, incorporating sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient manufacturing processes and the use of eco-friendly materials, can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible engineering process.

Scaling up from prototype to volume production requires careful planning and execution. Manufacturers should conduct thorough testing and validation of prototypes to ensure that they are production ready. Additionally, optimising the manufacturing process for scalability is essential. Manufacturers should consider automation and robotics to increase production capacity and efficiency. By planning for scalability from the early stages of engineering, manufacturers can avoid delays and disruptions when transitioning to volume production.

As the UK’s manufacturing sector continues to grow, manufacturers need to ensure that their business is sustainable and responsibly managed. Industries that can demonstrate sustainability and environmental responsibility will lead in the coming years. By leading the way in engineering, manufacturers can drive innovation, create high-quality products, and deliver value to customers — minimising their environmental impact and contributing to a more sustainable future.

Taking place on November 1 and 2, 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham, Advanced Engineering is the UK’s largest annual gathering of leading engineering and supply chain professionals, gathering the latest industry developments in one place to guide investment share knowledge across the UK manufacturing sector.
To register at the event, please click here, or if you would like find out more, then visit

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About Easyfairs

In 2018 Easyfairs was named Belgium’s “Entrepreneur of the Year®” and a “Great Place to Work”.  For the fourth year running, Deloitte conferred “Best Managed Company” status on Easyfairs in 2022.

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For further information, please contact:

Simon Farnfield

Advanced Engineering 


Jessica Phillips

Stone Junction Ltd


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