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By Jovile Bart and Matthew Skelton

Summary: 2019 is the year for manufacturing leaders and engineering managers to begin and accelerate their company’s digital manufacturing journey. The UK manufacturing sector lags behind many similar countries in terms of 4IR and digitalisation, and the world will not wait for the UK to catch up.

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We visited the Smart Factory Expo 2018 in Liverpool on 14–15 November 2018 to catch up with exhibitors and see that state of the art in digital manufacturing.

The Smart Factory Expo is part of Digital Manufacturing Week, the UK’s national festival dedicated to bringing together manufacturing executives across dozens of events over four days. The festival is organised by The Manufacturer magazine, the UK’s largest industry title with 158k-strong reader community, and a heritage of over 20 years. As part of the week, four main events were separated into Smart Factory Expo, The Manufacturer MX Awards, Manufacturers Night Summit and Manufacturing Leaders Summit. …

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