Comment: More of the same08 January 2020
As we enter a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on 2019. So many major events have taken place, from the political turmoil that has gripped the UK, to mass environmental protests and even severe flooding to parts of the nation. And that’s without even mentioning the B-word. However, what I have noticed – and what industry should be extremely proud of – is the amount of collaboration that has gone on to better businesses, improve the environment and safety, and find new talent.
Budgets, as we all know, have been getting tighter, the engineering talent pool has been drying up, and warnings about pollution and emissions, as well as employee safety and wellbeing, have been front and centre. But you’re engineers... You identify problems, create solutions and get things going again, and rather than wait for a potential fix to these major issue, many of you have identified collaboration as an option.
OE highlighted many examples last year, such as Volvo CE and Skanska testing the viability of an electric quarry; Chester University, employers and the Institute of Chemical Engineers launching a new degree apprenticeship; and a project aiming to deliver an automated bus service in Scotland.
And this issue, which you currently hold, is filled with great examples of collaboration too: a strategy on the proper and safe use of forward tipping dumpers has been developed by a consortium of construction organisations; Kalmar and Bosch Rexroth are collaborating to develop fully-electric reachstacker and heavy forklift solutions; and the British Pump Manufacturers’ Association and Lancaster University are working together to support pump manufacturers in solving their technical challenges.
Collaboration is clearly a key to tackling some of the big problems being faced by industry. Looking ahead to the rest of this year, I hope such efforts continue, but on a much larger and much wider scale.
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