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Successful Manufacturing and Engineering Expo
Successful Manufacturing and Engineering Expo
Successful Manufacturing and Engineering Expo
Successful Manufacturing and Engineering Expo

Successful Manufacturing and Engineering Expo

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 15 August 2013

On the 10th July 2013, Medway Council and the Kent Invicta Chamber held a successful Manufacturing and Engineering Expo at the No 5 Slipway, Historic Dockyard at Chatham, Kent. An inspirational business-to-business show designed to support and showcase everything that is great about the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Attracting over 600 visitors the event provided an environment where industry professionals could assess and compare the latest products and services for engineering and manufacturing.

Held on board the Victorian Royal Navy Sloop, HMS Gannet, a business networking breakfast provided an early start to the day. Over 60 key business decision makers attended, with keynote presentations provided by Bryn Jones, Operational Director, Bristol Maid/Hospital Metalcraft and Rowena Vestey, from the Design Council.  

In addition to the 80-plus exhibitors showcasing the very latest products and services for engineering and manufacturing, visitors had the opportunity to hear from a number of keynote speakers from leading industry sectors. One of the event key sponsors, Medway Council outlined its impressive investment plans for the future. Speakers such as Cllrs Rodney Chambers OBE, Leader of Medway Council, and Jane Chitty, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, spoke clearly about the opportunities for business looking to invest in the region and the skills base available from its residents.

Speaking at the Expo, Cllr Jane Chitty, said: 'The Expo has provided the perfect environment for manufacturing and engineering to showcase the expertise that we have in a wide range of businesses, all of which are very important to the economy.'

What the exhibitors say:
Tim Allen, Managing Director, M J Allen Group and Vice Chair, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce says: 'It was a privilege to be a part of Kent’s inaugural Manufacturing and Engineering Expo. Huge thanks are due to Medway Council for its initiative in supporting the event. As a manufacturer, and Vice Chair of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, I was delighted to be associated with the event.

'Our businesses are in subcontract metals engineering, producing a wide variety of cast and machined components in Kent, ranging from half a kilo to three tonnes. We produce and machine castings in aluminium, bronze and iron and also fabricate and machine steel. Our customers are varied, including automotive, architectural, defence and medical equipment manufacturers. The opportunity to showcase our skills alongside those of fellow manufacturers was invaluable. Manufacturers often exist in relative isolation, busily trading with suppliers and customers. This exhibition gave us the opportunity to network, share experiences and business opportunities with our manufacturing neighbours.

'The UK is waking up to the importance of manufacturing to the economy. Kent has outstanding engineering and manufacturing capabilities and we should be proud to boast of our achievements and ambitions. Working together at such an event was a powerful promotion of these skills, not just to each other, but to those looking in from outside who may not be aware of our talents.'

Colin Reardon, Managing Director, Tricorn Systems, says: 'Tricorn Systems attended the event with the intention of meeting visitors and generating leads for our Integrated Manufacturing Software suite, as well as meeting existing customers who were also exhibiting. We got some reasonable leads and met other exhibitors, which could prove useful to our business in Kent.'

Jonathan Ledger, Director, National Skills Academy for Materials, Production and Supply (NSAMPS), states: 'We decided to attend the Expo as the industries we support nationally (Building products, Ceramics, Coatings, Extractive and Mineral Processing, Furniture, Glass, Paper, Print, Wood and Health and Safety Professionals) are experiencing a shortage of new applicants for engineering jobs and we wanted to see how this was being tackled in the Medway region.

'We were also there to offer support to our local contacts in our national approved providers network, talk about our Schools into Industry programmes with employers and schools and discuss options with employers and providers wishing to take part in our third party quality assurance services connected with the Accreditation of Training against National Occupational Standards.'

NSAMPS had an opportunity to discuss the requirements for apprenticeships and vocational education with employers and training providers. It also had the chance to discuss careers and schools programmes with a few groups of students from local schools and colleges that attended on the day. A lot of interest was generated for its Accreditation programme, with some useful contacts in the Medway region to help develop all the services in the area being established.

He concludes: 'Holding the Expo in such an Historic location was an inspiration as it displayed the long standing association with engineering and manufacturing the region has, the networking events were very well attended and gave a good opportunity  for open discussions, all in all a very successful day.'    

'The show was great opportunity to introduce a couple of new products, and to engage in conversation with other exhibitors and visitors alike. For our busy schedule, a one day show made a pleasant change and was adequate time to convey the message we wanted to spread,' says Martin Gough, General Manager, Penrite Oil Company and Forest Lubricants.

Rob Murray, Medway Council, explains:  'We exhibited the range of free employment services on offer from Medway Council's 'Employ Medway' service, which includes recruitment, apprenticeships, training and grants for local businesses.
'The range of exhibitors and speakers was very diverse and, most importantly, very interesting. There were some excellent displays, demonstrations and talks of what an organisation could offer its customers and how they are able to benefit the manufacturing and engineering industries. There was a lot of networking done by all, and hopefully some very good connections made, which will lead to business being done in the very near future in Medway and surrounding areas.'
Aylesford-based Waterloo showcased the company’s capabilities in the design and manufacture of ventilation products and accessories, supplied to the building services sector. The company has many customers in the Kent area, but it is strategically advantaged by being close to the all-important London area construction market. 'The exhibition served to shop window our products, and also provided an opportunity to network with a wide range of partner and supplier organisations,' says Commercial Manager Alan Smith.

The company is committed to an aggressive business development programme for the next two years, which includes a robust export sales effort. Also, Waterloo is one of the founding members of the new Kent Constructing Excellence Club, a subordinate of the National Constructing Excellence initiative. The objectives of CE are to develop standards in the industry covering issues such as employment and training, supply chains, sustainability, and measured customer satisfaction.

As official photographer for the event as well as exhibitor, the show offered up great opportunities for meeting and discussing new directions for Bresser Photography & Digital Media. 'Our stand showcased the commercial contracts recently undertaken such as; photographing aluminium panel doors for the manufacturer's adverts and brochures; to the work we do for a local fitting company offering bespoke storage systems that need high quality imagery for its website and fact sheets. As well as exhibiting in-situ product shots, we displayed our photographic work of teams and individuals - extremely important in a world where social media is revolutionising customer relations,' says business owner, Pete Bresser.


The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a maritime museum on part of the site of the former royal/naval dockyard at Chatham in Medway, South East England. The venue also welcomed their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, during July. This followed the announcement in April that The Prince of Wales agreed to take on the Patronage of The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust for a five year term.

Chatham Dockyard covered 400 acres (1.6 km²) and was one of the Royal Navy's main facilities for several hundred years until it was closed in 1984. After closure the dockyard was divided into three sections. The easternmost basin was handed over to Medway Ports and is now a commercial port. Another slice was converted into a mixed commercial, residential and leisure development. Around 80 acres (324,000 m²), comprising the 18th century core of the site, was transferred to a charity called the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and is now open as a visitor attraction. It claims to be the world’s most complete dockyard from the Age of Sail.

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