ClayTech UK 2018 – looking to the future

Clay Technology magazine
26 Oct 2018

Ellis Davies breaks down the programme of the upcoming Claytech 2018 conference.

ClayTech 2018 will build on the success of the 2017 iteration at its new home at the Newark Showground, Newark, UK, and feature a range of speakers covering topics from the reduction of plastics in businesses, to the future of brick manufacture in the UK. The event has grown in size, with over 60 stands in the sold out exhibition area, as well as accruing a record breaking number of sponsors.

Taking place on 15 November 2018, the conference will bring together delegates from various sectors of the clay industry, including bricks, ceramics and academia, and will revolve around three main themes – the here and now, challenges the industry faces, and looking to the future.

ClayTech 2018 will open with a welcome from Andy Carp, Director of Resource UK Ltd, and introduce the 2018 Mellor Prize winner Keith Shankland of Hanson Brick, UK, who will present his Mellor Lecture.

Following the Mellor Lecture, speakers will undertake the first topic of the day – the here and now. This session will include presentations from Ade Dickinson of Naylor Clayware, UK, on the topic on the jacking and trenchless installation of clay pipe, and Lauren Derby of the Clay Roof Tile Council, UK, who will be defending the pitched roof in the age of offsite construction.

The morning session will conclude with the presentation of level two and three awards, as well as diplomas by Paula Wardle of Ibstock, and Martin Cox, President of IOM3.

After lunch, a round table panel discussion will be held – a new addition to the ClayTech conference. Chaired by Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramics Confederation, the panel will consist of Joe Hudson, Ibstock, Garry McDonald, Miller Homes, and Keith Barker, Wienerberger, who will discuss the house building challenge and how it can be addressed.

Moving into the afternoon session, all speakers will cover the future of the industry. Stephen Mitchell, Director of Apprenticeship and Technical Training at EEF, UK, will speak on training for the future of UK manufacturing. The talk will cover the integration of 4IR into skills development, with emphasis on robotics and automated factories and processes, data recognition and collection, to give a better understanding of how 4IR is shaping manufacturing.

On the future of manufacturing, John Grew of Ibstock will cover this in terms of the processes and forms of production that will become more common, including intelligent factories and machines. Grew says, ‘Industry is considered a driver for innovation, growth, and social stability. At the same time, however, competition is growing more intense. Customers demand new, high-quality products and customised offerings at ever-shorter time intervals. In addition, it is necessary to continually increase productivity. And only those who can make do with less energy and fewer resources will be able to cope with growing cost pressures.’ For more from Grew and Mitchell, see page 18.

The afternoon session will also feature a talk from Ivo Tedbury, Semblr and University College London, UK, who will cover relative robotics for bricklaying, and developing small robots for large construction.