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Enabling the UK as a high technology hub

Enabling the UK as a high technology hub Advanced motion and automation systems help UK manufacturers to develop, produce and test high quality products.

Cutting across all sectors of industry, even after a positive end to 2012, the first months of this year have returned some worrying growth figures for UK plc. In spite of a weaker pound against the dollar and euro, manufacturing output fell by 1.5% in February. And, whilst the trade gap grew smaller, the difference reflected a fall in both imports and exports. Even against this background, there is however hope and optimism from some sectors of British manufacturing and research; not least of which are those companies and institutes that have helped to make the UK a high technology hub through their high value exports to the emerging BRIC markets and beyond.

Their success stems from a USP that is certainly due to product and/or knowledge innovation. It is also partly due to maintaining their competitive edge through manufacturing principles that focus on increased productivity or development processes that optimise time-to-market. Both of these USPs usually requires a high degree of automation technology.

Supporting these OEMs and organisations with the enabling automation technologies they require to develop, produce or test their high quality products or cutting-edge research are manufacturers like Basingstoke based motion technology specialist LG Motion. Its value-add service, providing everything from motion components through to complete motion sub-systems allows these large scale OEMs and research organisations to concentrate on their product or process expertise by sub-contracting complete motion control and machine automation systems that are designed and delivered fully tested. In this way development timescales, manufacturing costs and TCO can be reduced along with improved production throughput and enhanced final product quality.

Unlike many UK-based motion distributors who supply only partial solutions, LG Motion has the in-house design, production and quality assurance capability, from its 15,000sqft manufacturing facility, to provide complete customised automation systems for its customers. And, as an enthusiastic 'Made in Britain' supplier, it also possesses the determination to help drive the UK's manufacturing base forward. Gary Livingstone, LG Motion's managing director certainly believes that high technology manufacturing will play an important role in the British recovery and calls for the government to provide the right conditions. "Britain's manufacturers are incredibly resilient and adaptable to change. I feel passionately that the country must continue to value and invest in manufacturing to create the stability for recovery and long term success."

LG Motion has a long list of UK customers in manufacturing and research including Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Smiths Industries and AEA Technology, as well as manufacturers further down the supply chain across industries as diverse as aerospace,  automotive, scientific and university research, biomedical, process and packaging, energy and nuclear, and motorsport.

An LG Motion system will typically comprise precision motor driven positioning stages with high resolution position feedback, control electronics and software - delivered fully tested and ready to commission on the customer's machine. Applications range from automated machines that produce parts for aircraft fuel management systems to beam line detector positioners for the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility, and from gantry scanning systems for testing healthcare ultrasound equipment to liquid dispensing positioning systems producing gaskets for street lighting consoles.

For some customers, the value-add service is increased, extending to much more than sub-system design and supply. The gene research technology pioneer Nanotherics started working with LG Motion from a UK university technology transfer project in the 2007; and now LG Motion supplies not just the motion control components but also most the hardware and provides the servicing for its gene transfection instruments that are sold worldwide to companies and institutes working in DNA research.
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