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British manufacturers need to invest in digital technology to drive growth in a post-Brexit economy, according to North East furniture manufacturer Godfrey Syrett.

The firm has already taken the leap into digital manufacturing processes to increase efficiency, following heavy investment in new digital technologies.

At a time when UK manufacturers are tasked with becoming the engine room of the post-Brexit economy,Godfrey Syrett believes that investment in digital technology will enable the firm to increase its production capacity, shorten lead times, reduce waste and fulfil an increasing volume of orders.

Mark Dixon, executive chairman at Godfrey Syrett said: “Despite the turbulence of the Brexit negotiations, the North East manufacturing market remains strong and we have every confidence that the sector will thrive post-Brexit.

“Looking to the future, we believe it is important for manufacturers to invest in automation technologies in order to update current processes and remain competitive and profitable, as well as continuing to invest in a skilled workforce who are ready to adopt these new practices.”

The firm has recently invested £450,000 in a state-of-the-art Homag BMG machine, which has been installed at the firm’s manufacturing site in Langley Moor, Durham. The multi-production system is to be used for cutting, edging and boring furniture panels and will reduce time spent in manual handling by manoeuvring production items automatically.

This follows a long line of technology investment for Godfrey Syrett, exceeding £1.5m in recent years. The firm has also purchased a digital saw, a Lectra fabric cutting and optimisation solution, and is also awaiting installation of an edgebander gluing machine.

Michael Donachie, operations director at Godfrey Syrett said: “The BMG machine is a major investment in what represents the latest technology on offer in furniture manufacturing and has already enabled us to fulfil larger-scale jobs within very short time frames. We are committed to continually improving the quality and quantity of our output and we are very pleased with the results of our latest investment”.

Earlier this year the firm announced it had upped its growth target to £50m, a turnover which it plans to achieve by 2020.

Mr Dixon added: “We believe it is important to move forward and embrace the use of innovative tools and processes that will enable the business to flourish in the long-term.

“By investing in manufacturing hardware, we will be more strategically placed to meet the increased demands of a more competitive market and this will help us achieve our long-term goals.”

Within the manufacturing sector, the use of digital technology is seen by many as a key factor in enabling the UK to compete in Europe and further afield. The German manufacturing industry is 2.7 times larger than that of the UK and invests 6.6 times more in automation which is a key driver of their high productivity.

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