Minister for Industry visits aerospace manufacturer to see impact of Made Smarter adoption programme

Date published: 04 February 2022

Minister for Industry Lee Rowley visited a Middleton aerospace manufacturer to see the positive impact of new technology and digital skills introduced with support from Made Smarter.

MSM aerospace fabricators (MSM) develops and manufactures complex parts and assemblies for Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and has been engaged with the North West adoption programme for three years.

The SME has tapped into fully funded impartial expert technology advice, a digital transformation workshop, skills development opportunities and two match-funded technology projects.

Mr Rowley was accompanied on his visit by Donna Edwards, Programme Director for Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme, Steve Cleaver, Lead Digital Transformation Specialist at Made Smarter, Clare Porter, Head of Manufacturing for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and Chris Clarkson, MP for Heywood and Middleton.

He learned about MSM’s use of digital twin technology to redesign its new factory and unlock production and capacity planning in the future.


L-R: Gary Turner, MSM aerospace fabricators; Donna Edwards, Made Smarter; Steve Cleaver, Made Smarter; Chris Clarkson, MP for Heywood and Middleton; and Minister for Industry Lee Rowley
L-R: Gary Turner, MSM aerospace fabricators; Donna Edwards, Made Smarter; Steve Cleaver, Made Smarter; Chris Clarkson, MP for Heywood and Middleton; and Minister for Industry Lee Rowley


A tour of the premises which it has occupied for more than 80 years also showcased its investment in 3D printing and the impact it is having on production templates, laser tooling and checking gauges for inspecting components.

Michael Pedley, Managing Director of MSM, said: "It was a pleasure to demonstrate to Mr Rowley the impact Government support can have. Made Smarter has been an incredible support over the last few years, particularly with the devastating impact of coronavirus on the aerospace industry. 

“The programme supported our investment in cutting-edge Digital Twin technology which will help us optimise the design and layout of our new factory, and is helping us simulate individual production processes to identify, streamline and maximise operational efficiencies. Meanwhile, through its Fast Track Additive Manufacturing training programme, we upskilled one of our manufacturing engineers, brought that expertise in-house, and had confidence to invest in additive manufacturing which has had a phenomenal impact.”

Donna Edwards said: “It was a pleasure to be able to demonstrate to the minister the remarkable effect Made Smarter is having on technology adoption and skills development in small and medium manufacturers.

“MSM is one of 1,400 businesses from every corner of the region we have engaged with over the last three years, helping them introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth, navigate Covid-19, and tackle climate change.

“Our ambition is to continue to spread the word to SME manufacturers in every sector that they too can reap the rewards of intensive support, including expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take their first steps to transform their business, as well as opportunities to embed vital skills in their organisations from the top floor to the shopfloor.”

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