Helping manufacturers get more bang for their buck with new Industry 4.0 technologies

The Smart Manufacturing Alliance, the newly created sector network for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, held its first networking event on 25 November at PwC’s offices in Cambridge, showcasing some of the best examples of Industry 4.0 technologies in action from across the region.

Delegates were also introduced to a new European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme, ACMI 4.0, which offers grant funding and free support to SME manufacturers aimed at encourage them to adopt these new technologies.

Industry 4.0 is a term used to describe the digital transformation of manufacturing and related industries. It covers a broad range of technologies that use data and ‘SMART’ Technology to improve productivity, examples include virtual reality, cloud computing, and robotics.

Speakers included Steve Hales from Huxley Bertram Engineering, and Mario Grandinetti from NoMuda Visual Factory:

  • A standout example of Industry 4.0 in action from Steve at Huxley Bertram was their multipoint robot installation delivering a state of the art SemiConductor Chip production facility. This increased productivity and attracted a multi-million pound investment for the client.
  • As another example of leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies, Steve shared the challenges Huxley Bertram Engineering are navigating to get the most out of Hololens technology (augmented reality) and to integrate this into business practices, as well as the success of applications like Google Workspace to allow operations to move seamlessly to remote working through the pandemic in 2020.
  • Mario showed attendees how the Visual Factory system is increasing quality, reducing process time and improving down time at manufacturing sites. The system uses data and ‘SMART’ technology for live monitoring, tracking, and guidance of staff working in the production line.

Delegates also heard about a new support programme for SME manufacturers called ACMI 4.0 that can help them purchase Industry 4.0 technologies and get maximum value from them.

The ACMI 4.0 programme (Advanced Capabilities for Manufacturing – Industry 4.0) is ERDF funded and is being run by Opportunity Peterborough in partnership with the Smart Manufacturing Alliance. It includes a £300,000 capital grants programme that can match fund up to 40% of equipment purchase related to Industry 4.0.

Bob Hart, Programme Director of the Smart Manufacturing Alliance said, “Hopefully delegates have come away with fresh ideas for how they could use Industry 4.0. More importantly, they know where to turn for that expert advice so they use the technologies that can have the biggest positive impact on their business.

“Our programme of events will continue to incorporate Industry 4.0, and the ACMI programme will run its own dedicated series of events to help manufacturers enhance skillsets, identify the most appropriate technologies, integrate them seamlessly and get maximum value so they can improve performance and productivity.”

The next Smart Manufacturing Alliance event will be on 16 December, focusing on best practice in Zero Carbon and legislative pressures following COP 26.

The next ACMI 4.0 event is earmarked for January 2022 and will focus on food manufacturing.

Both events are free of charge and open to organisations in manufacturing, or the manufacturing supply chain. To book a spot at either event, visit our events page on our website here or email:

Click here to view the presentations
(Linked on Dropbox. To receive the presentations by another means please contact us).