February 2016: Unmissable News Update
We can’t believe that February 2016 is over and March is already upon us! As promised, the Dyne Technology team has rounded up February’s top stories in a format that will fit within your busy schedule. So sit back, grab a coffee and enjoy!
1) Confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves brings excitement and new opportunities
The world of physics received a long awaited announcement when the confirmation of the discovery of gravitational waves (image courtesy of Wiki) was made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US. On September 14th 2015 LIFO detected a signal caused by “two black holes colliding and coalescing, squeezing and stretching the fabric of space-time.” (The Engineer) Gravitational waves were first predicated by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity in 1915 and this is the last of the theory’s predictions found to be true.
The event detected by LIGO is of a huge scale, the signal detected has been interpreted as coming from two black holes (image courtesy of Wiki), one weighing 29 times as much as our sun, the other 36 times, orbiting around
each other. Energy given out by the gravity waves forced the black holes to spin around each other, gaining speed while moving closer together; the scale of this is phenomenal, with the black holes eventually moving at half the speed of light with each orbit taking only milliseconds until they eventually collided. Once collided, the black holes merged into a single body with a mass 62 times that of the sun. From this, the missing three solar masses were converted into the energy of the gravity ripple that reached the earth, with the black hole emitting further gravity waves as its shape smoothed into a sphere.
We highly recommend you take a read of our source article from The Engineer for more information on this enthralling subject.
2) Skills shortage leaves up to 5,000 automotive industry jobs vacant
A report developed by SMMT Industry Forum for the Automotive Industrial Partnership has surveyed British-based automotive firms to identify areas in which the skills shortage is having a negative effect upon filling vacancies and provide further means for the industry and government to tackle the skills gap (The Engineer). 2015 was an incredible year for UK Automotive vehicle production, the 1.59 million vehicles built made it the best year in a decade and volumes are being forecast to reach a record-high of two million by 2020. This is often accredited to not only the industry’s innovation but high productivity levels which have increased by 40% since 2010, making UK labour productivity levels the highest in Europe.
Despite the industry booming with success, a skills shortage threatens to undermine their prosperity as 19% of unfilled vacancies are categorised as critical. The industry has invested heavily in apprenticeships and training for existing staff members however, it is clear more work needs to be done. As we know, the automotive industry is not the only one affected by the skills gap, the effects of this are being felt across multiple UK Manufacturing industries, and more needs to be done to plug this gap before negative effects impact upon the success of UK Manufacturing.
How do you think we can plug the skills gap? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
3) UK Automotive takes productivity up a gear
The Manufacturer has published a recent report that highlights UK manufacturing leading the way for increasing productivity, with 64% of manufacturers achieving a growth in productivity within the past two years (image courtesy of Flickr). The rise is thought to have come from manufacturers undertaking a broad range of productivity improvement measures and putting productivity growth at the heart of their business models.
The report entitled Productivity; the state of the manufacturing nation, reveals that manufacturing’s productivity growth has outpaced both the service sector and the UK economy as a whole since 2014.
However, despite this positive news, the UK has weak productivity performance comparative to the rest of the world’s economy and there are still concerns over UK manufacturing lagging behind its global peers. This is backed up by 49% of manufacturers who say that the UK manufacturing’s productivity lags behind competitor nations. With 64% of manufacturers increasing growth through the implementation of productivity improvements, and 49% of manufacturers feeling that productivity could be higher, we are confident that UK manufacturing’s productivity will continue to increase with this renewed focus on improving productivity.
1. Gravity wave discovery sends shockwaves through physics – The Engineer
2. Skills shortage leaves up to 5000 automotive industry jobs vacant – The Engineer
3. Confidence boost for manufacturers – The Manufacturer