It’s disheartening to hear that 56% of female engineers reported that they felt the manufacturing industry in Ireland has not only more opportunities, but superior opportunities for men. Despite the statistics that show women are less likely to enter the field than men, it is unclear why there aren’t equal opportunities for each gender.


Female engineer working in the manufacturing industry


That is why, in today’s blog, we’re looking into the importance of inspiring women to choose a career in manufacturing. We’ll be exploring the idea of challenging stereotypes that women in this industry deal with daily and focus on why we should be encouraging women to join the manufacturing sector from a young age.

We’re proud to stand with women here at European Springs Ireland and offer an incredible support system for young people getting started in the industry as apprenticeships. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for additional support or advice.


What Do the Statistics Say?

It may not be surprising to hear, but only 14% of bachelor’s graduates from engineering and manufacturing related schemes in Ireland are women. Young women taking their GCSEs have been found to steer clear from STEM-related subjects, meaning even at the age of 16, girls are put-off from a career in manufacturing.

But we want to know why this is. Is it a lack of support from the industry? An unmotivating number of opportunities to progress? A long list of damaging stereotypes and old-fashioned ideals?

Although the numbers are low, with women making up just 14.5% of engineering in Ireland, it is slowly on the rise, with a 25.7% increase in women in manufacturing roles from 2016 to 2021. This is hopeful, but there is still much more work to rectify the gender imbalance.


Challenging Stereotypes

One of the main reasons women tend to avoid a career in manufacturing is the stereotypes surrounding their gender within the industry. These stereotypes suggest that to take on a manufacturing role, you must fit into a particular category by looking and acting a certain way, and usually, this means being male. Another stereotype is that those who aren’t male are at least masculine-presenting and have typically masculine interests. This damaging stereotype means that feminine presenting women may be put off from a career in manufacturing due to the judgement and lack of support they receive from others.


Female teaching manufacturing to young women


These stereotypes can have a knock-on effect and mean that women interested in a career within the industry could feel excluded as they have little or no role models or people like themselves to look up to within their workplace.


Inspiring Young Women in Schools

To abolish the stereotypes of needing to look or act a certain way to work within the manufacturing industry, we need to start from the beginning. This means inspiring young girls from an early age before learning about outdated beliefs.

It’s vital that this education begins before children take their GCSEs, and they are taught that anyone can find success in manufacturing, no matter their gender. This way, they have time to consider it as a career option before making choices about their potential further education, such as university and apprenticeship schemes.


Apprenticeship Schemes for Women

Here at European Springs Ireland, we are proud to offer incredible apprenticeship schemes that follow the Mechanical Manufacturing Apprenticeship framework and award BTEC Level 3 certificates in Engineering Operations and Maintenance. Additionally, we provide an accompanying NVQ in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering. We believe that a career in manufacturing is a great choice, and an apprenticeship is a fantastic way of getting your foot in the door and learning trade skills and getting paid at the same time.

We would never discriminate and are happy to take on anyone excited about the role and their career within the industry, regardless of gender. For more information on the fantastic opportunities here at European Springs Ireland, please get in touch with our team. We are more than happy to discuss your options and help you decide which path is right for you.


Female engineer working in a manufacturing warehouse


International Women in Engineering Day

International Women in Engineering Day is detrimental to the industry; it allows women worldwide to speak up about their experiences, good and bad, to inspire others to do the same. It lands on the 23rd of June annually and is a day of celebrating the slowly narrowing gender pay gap and working towards a more inclusive industry. Companies worldwide take part in recognising their influential female workers – inspiring young women to consider a career in engineering and manufacturing.


Looking Into the Future

As disheartening as the statistics may be to read, we are working closer to a more inclusive community that supports both men and women in the manufacturing industry. We hope this blog has given those who need it some inspiration and drive to go for the career they wish to have and not feel like they can’t because of their gender.

If you’re interested in pursuing an engineering or manufacturing apprenticeship with us, please do get in touch, and we will provide you with everything you need to know to help get you set up. As leading spring manufacturers in Ireland, we have what you need to inspire and push you in the career that’s right for you.

Employee safety is one of the leading trends for manufacturers heading into 2022. Safety in the workplace has always been a priority, though following the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘safety’ has taken on a new meaning. 

Accidents in the workplace can be detrimental to manufacturers, and so it’s important to implement a cohesive safety strategy and build a professional working relationship with your suppliers. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) form a crucial part of the UK’s manufacturing sector, creating unbranded products that companies then sell. These products are significant to the safety and welfare of your employees, especially if they are operating in close proximity to moving parts, automated machinery and electrical equipment. 

As well as the basic safety precautions, like sanitising and social distancing, you must also ensure that you are carefully tracking visitors and clients who visit your facility, including the equipment they use and the members of staff they interact with.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of employee safety and how you can improve this with supply chain visibility, quality PPE and by integrating AI and automation into your manufacturing processes.

The Importance of Employee Safety 

There is a new focus on employee safety that has extended to and includes field service. This means that technicians and workers have to be more prepared to quickly and efficiently complete orders with minimal contact or disruption. On the flip side of this increased organisation, we expect to see a rise in the number of first-time fix rates for manufacturers.

While many businesses have been held back by the restrictions of Covid-19 and seen a significant decrease in productivity levels, we believe there are still opportunities that you can take advantage of — these include improving your operating costs and customer service offering.

The after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are not going away overnight. It’s vital to prepare your workforce and adjust your processes, making the safety of your employees a priority. 

Supply Chain Visibility and Quality PPE 

As manufacturers start to demand more visibility and transparency from supply chain representatives, we foresee a more streamlined working process for order tracking and claims throughout our sector in the future. As a result, manufacturers are now seeking in-source facilities maintenance and management to take care of track and trace, sanitising units and supplies — all of which require the help of equipment data from OEMs.

The issue of poor Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been brought to light when concerning employee safety, with many companies trying to cut costs. Jimmy Quinn, President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), says that workplace safety should be at the heart of a company’s business strategy and that these areas are key to the success and sustainability of businesses.

Since the 2008 recession, the IOSH has reported that many companies are making substandard PPE buying choices, including boots, hard hats, and gloves. Purchasing poor safety equipment could cost lives and is actively putting your workforce at risk. When choosing PPE equipment, you should always check that the supplier meets your industry’s criteria and safety standards.

Integrating AI and Automated Processes 

As a manufacturer, you have a duty of care and responsibility for your employees, and this includes the proper training with automated machinery, electrical devices and equipment with moving parts. You should take health and safety very seriously and could be subject to fines, potential personal lawsuits and reputational damage if you do not put the correct practices in place. 

We’re reputable spring manufacturers in Ireland, and our well-equipped manufacturing plants allow us to offer a wide range of custom products and services. We continuously train our experienced engineers and invest in the latest automated equipment, which means we can repeatedly meet ever-changing safety requirements while producing top-quality products for our customers and the market we operate in.

Automation, in particular, made it possible for us to work at almost full capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our technicians could work remotely and speak to customers about design elements, troubleshooting and repairs. These new technologies are exciting for manufacturers, as they can bring new business, increase production rates and promote sustainability through the efficient use of materials.

As leading spring manufacturers, we continue to keep up to date with industry-standard regulations relating to the safety and welfare of our employees. 

If you have any questions about our services or products, including compression springs or pressings, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help!

In the meantime, visit our blog page and be the first to see the latest information on the manufacturing industry and expert sector insights.

As 2022 fast approaches, we turn our attention to the upcoming top trends in manufacturing. Our sector is constantly developing and advancing, and so as leading spring manufacturers, we need to keep up with the latest technology and equipment that are the driving forces behind these changes.

Industry 4.0 represents the fourth revolution that has occurred in manufacturing. There’s no denying that it has enabled our industry to improve operational visibility, streamline production times, deliver first-class customer support and reduce costs. It’s time to turn our attention to Industry 5.0 — where we will see increased collaboration between humans and smart technologies.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most recent and ongoing trends in manufacturing, focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT), employee safety and Smart Factories. 

Internet of Things 

Modern-day manufacturing has been changed and shaped by The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) with many developments, especially in the last 18 months. Businesses have begun to understand the value and benefits of controlling machinery and facilities from one centralised location. IoT is used widely across the manufacturing industry and, for us, claims the top spot on the trends list this year.

When used correctly, companies can reap the rewards of modern data analysis by connecting devices or machinery within an existing internet infrastructure. This has allowed manufacturers to streamline processes and make informed or strategic decisions based on real-time data. By using this technology, your business can seek to achieve various goals, such as increasing efficiency, safety, innovation and reduced costs. 

A study conducted by the MPI Group shows that almost a third (31%) of today’s production processes involve smart devices or embedded intelligence at some capacity. In addition, 34% of manufacturers plan to incorporate IoT technology into their processes, and 32% propose to embed IoT technology into their products.

Employee Safety 

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, employee safety will continue to dominate manufacturing trends well into 2022. While workplace safety has always been at the forefront of manufacturing facilities, the word safety has taken on a new meaning. Every industry has been following basic safety precautions, such as social distancing and hand sanitising. For manufacturers, employee and visitor safety now covers the sourcing of in-house facilities maintenance with an increased emphasis on traceability — this could require external equipment from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). 

With employee safety at the forefront of many discussions in our industry, the spotlight is also on processes and how manufacturers can become leaner and smarter in their ways of working to increase the safety and wellbeing of employees — especially for roles involving large amounts of human labour. 

This is where Industry 5.0 and the importance of collaborative working between humans and machines will be significant. Companies will look to further implement automated processes throughout their facilities, with increased control that does not require extra human work to maintain adequate levels of safety.

Here at European Springs, we anticipate that this trend will directly impact supply chain visibility. Manufacturers must demand more transparency from suppliers, as it will help track and improve communication on any issues throughout the whole process. 

Virtual Reality and Automation 

For most manufacturers, virtual reality (VR) and automation have enabled many to work at full capacity throughout the pandemic. Technicians could work remotely, sending customers augmented reality or virtual reality devices to talk them through repairs and troubleshooting.

These technologies present an exciting opportunity for both convenience and new lines of business. More customers are open to the idea of using touchscreen technology and can see the immediate benefits of it — which include higher production rates, increased productivity and the efficient use of materials. 

When you choose to invest in smart technologies like sensors, machine learning, robotics, and cloud computing, you can not only grow your supply chain but look to cater for online customers and identify areas for machine investment and growth. 

Our well-equipped manufacturing plants allow us to offer a wide range of custom products and services. We train our experienced engineers and invest in the latest automated equipment, which means we can repeatedly meet the ever-changing requirements of our customers and the market we operate in.

Smart Factories 

Smart Factories have become the driving force of digitalisation. The term refers to a digitalised shop or facility operated by connected machines, production systems and devices. One of the main benefits of Smart Factories is that you can use live data from the automated machines to produce reports based on improvement areas, such as ongoing issues and demands.

Smart Factories are connected by a combination of technologies, including Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, AI, and Industrial IoT. Each element works to combine physical and digital tasks so that the Smart Factory process can integrate and supervise systems to streamline performance and operations.

Here are some examples of the most common technologies found in a Smart Factory:

  • Industrial IoT – Connected machines, processes, or devices linked through data communication, allowing data to be exchanged by people and machines. 

  • Sensors – Built into machines to collect unique data at various stages of the manufacturing process. Sensors are beneficial for offering live visibility. 

  • Cloud Computing – The processing, storage and sharing of data. Cloud computing gives a cost-effective and flexible solution that allows you to focus on key metrics and solve ongoing issues. 

  • Big Data – Collecting data over time gives you insight into the bigger picture of processes and key metrics. In particular, big data helps identify recurring errors.

As leading spring manufacturers, we continue to invest and advance how we manufacture to prepare for the industry’s future. AI and Smart Factory technologies have been established for a while, and those who choose to invest are seeing a growing return. Automation also facilitates a more agile way of working, including streamlining processes and working at normal capacity under most circumstances.

Keep up to date with our blog page and be the first to see the latest information on the manufacturing industry, as well as expert sector insights.

After a year and a half of Covid restrictions, the DSEI 2021 show was the first exhibition that European Springs and Pressings have been able to attend. 

It was great to be back at a live show to meet and talk in person with other attendees and industry professionals. We’re delighted to have made contacts across multiple industries, including aerospace, defence and security — we spent time reconnecting with clients and were entertained by the expertise and innovation on show.

As it was our first time attending a DSEI show, we did not set typical KPI targets for the event but instead monitored sales leads generated to gauge the suitability of the event for the future. In this blog, we’ll provide a round-up of our experience at the show.

The Importance of Attending DSEI 2021 

The Defence and Security Equipment International show is the largest fully-integrated defence and security show in the world, running biennially in London and Saudi Arabia respectively. As we manufacture products for the defence, security and aerospace industries, it was important for us to attend this event for the first time.

European Springs & Pressings are always aiming to raise our profile (especially over the next twelve months) and improve the effectiveness of our exhibition attendance — promotion strategy is an integral part of this process. We decided that collaborating with Metrol on a joint stand at DSEI would enable both companies to pool our offers and gain visibility at such a prominent exhibition.

Why Does This Event Resonate with European Springs? 

DSEI is a great networking event, renowned for the strength and seniority of those that attend — this includes senior officials, industry buyers and over 3,000 international VIPs and official delegations. 

The show gave us the opportunity to exhibit alongside primes and tier 2 suppliers, top UK and international delegations and UK and international defence ministers. Others who attended the event included senior procurement staff teams, prime contractors/OEMs, pre-qualified industry visitors, SMEs, system integrators, subcontractors, major manufacturers, service providers and defence media.

Networking and future innovation are a huge part of what we do. Meeting with these like-minded industry professionals allowed us to represent our high-quality services and products, and repeatedly meet the ever-changing requirements of our customers and the market we operate within.

What Was The Atmosphere of The Event Like? 

As the world’s largest defence and security community gathering, the event had great energy and buzz surrounding it. With 8 halls, international pavilions from six continents and over 1000 companies in attendance covering aerospace, land, naval, security, joint, future technology, manufacturing, medical and space sectors, there was plenty to see and do in an optimal business environment. 

There were live demonstrations at the dockside and tours of the naval boats in attendance. We particularly enjoyed the indoor demonstrations of drone technologies and Q-UGVs (Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicles – robo-dogs!).

Our Favourite Thing About DSEI 2021

If we had to choose one thing about the show that truly stood out, it would have to be simply being back at a live event and being able to talk directly to potential clients and suppliers.

The show was a spectacle of jaw-dropping military technology and innovative manufacturing. There were so many intriguing things to discover, even if you do not have an interest in defence and security equipment and vehicles.

We also have to mention the armed forces marching band who put on their opening day show. The pomp and professionalism of the performance was a real treat to see live; they really brightened up a muggy Tuesday afternoon.

Setting Our Stall Apart  

Our stall was focused on showing exactly who we are and ensuring our products and expertise are clearly defined and communicated. Ahead of the event, we understood that it would be difficult to compete for attention, especially when the next stand was boasting a Challenger 3 Mobile Battle Tank!

Our helpful experts and reps welcomed a lot of visitors to our bright and colourful stall. We found that most were industry colleagues making purchaser product enquiries. However, a few visitors enjoyed a lighter conversation about spring tension as a break from discussing the stopping power of an AK47.

Advice For Those Attending Future DSEI Shows

Wear comfortable shoes! The DSEI show is huge, filling the 8 halls of Excel London and its two dockside areas with equipment, vehicles and displays. You have to do a lot of walking to get around it all.

Attending the DSEI gives you access to the global marketplace. With a 95% visitor satisfaction rate, the show is essential for exploring international business opportunities.

We found considerable benefits in attending the show and networking with others to develop our knowledge and integrate with other businesses across various industries. The exhibition was a fantastic opportunity to speak with peers and industry professionals and learn from other exhibitors and sponsors.

As spring manufacturers, we must keep up with the latest news, movements and events within our industry. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and would like to thank everyone who visited our stall and made us feel welcome during our first DSEI event!

We’re leading spring manufacturers, so it’s no surprise that we’d suggest manufacturing as a great career choice! It’s an exciting industry to work in where no two days are the same.

Manufacturing is suited to those who enjoy ‘doing’ and have the mental strength to take on new challenges while applying innovation and problem-solving to each task. 

This blog will explore recruitment within our industry and discuss 7 reasons we think manufacturing is a great career choice for young people or those looking for a career change.

Contribution to the Economy 

When you choose manufacturing as a career, you’re making a huge contribution to global economies. Manufacturing helps improve the standard of living for both workers and consumers to keep the economy alive and booming. Many manufactures, ourselves included, are not only contributing financially to the economy but creating high-quality components and products that provide a service for critical sectors, including healthcare, the defence industry and transportation.

Exciting Sectors and Industries 

Here at European Springs, we manufacture parts for various industries, such as construction, automotive, electronics, medical and much more. Not only can you learn more about how these sectors use different products for a variety of applications, but it’s interesting to work on bespoke projects and make one-of-a-kind items for the latest developments in the aerospace industry, for example. 

Career Growth and Development 

There is plenty of room for both growth and development in our industry. With new technologies being implemented at a rapid pace, there is the opportunity to manage and control specific areas of production or machine learning so you can become an expert in your field. The maintenance of these smart technologies is also an interesting area to explore. 

If you’re looking to start out in a manufacturing role, we offer apprenticeships that follow the nationally recognised Mechanical Manufacturing Apprenticeship framework, awarding BTEC Level 3 in Engineering Operations and Maintenance certifications, with an accompanying NVQ in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering. Apprenticeships are a great way to get your foot in the door and learn trade skills on the job. Many of our certified apprentices choose to continue to progress their knowledge and skills with us for years after completing their courses. 

Work with Real Products 

In general, manufacturing is centred around the production of items that provide use in people’s lives — this gives you the chance to design, create and work with real-life products. As previously mentioned, we make bespoke pressings across many sectors, and so it’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about how your work impacts the bigger picture. 

Increased Safety 

Manufacturing omits a safety-first approach, especially with the increased implementation of smart technologies and automated machinery. Before entering into a manufacturing environment, you will be given the correct health and safety training and equipment needed. 

In the past, manufacturing plants have received stigma for out-of-date practices and unsafe protocols. However, that image is far from today’s laboratory-style facilities with streamlined production solutions and highly advanced machinery.

More than an Assembly Line 

There’s much more to manufacturing than production and assembly lines. There’s an opportunity to be involved in design, development, prototyping, problem-solving and much more. Automation has introduced so many different roles to our manufacturing facilities, and there is plenty of room for expansion in specialised areas of the business for talented individuals. 

Manufacturing always welcomes leadership, and you will find many fulfilling roles in areas like product research, marketing, business development and HR.

Work with Cutting Edge Technologies 

Technology is changing the manufacturing industry as we know it! Smart Factories and automated machinery, in particular, are currently at the forefront of digitalisation in modern-day manufacturing. Smart factories tie in technologies such as sensors, cloud computing, big data and industrial IoT (Internet of Things), combining physical and digital tasks to improve efficiency and counteract ongoing issues. 

Working with these technologies is exciting and beneficial to the growing skills gap within our industry — which is at a 30 year high. Many manufacturers are investing in people, helping them gain the experience needed to fill vacant roles and prepare for the future of digital manufacturing.

Here at European Springs, we’re dedicated to investing in the latest machinery and technologies, which have undoubtedly streamlined our business and allowed us to remain fully operational throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Installing new equipment is critical to our expansion and long-term investment in the industry. 

As leading spring manufacturers, we need to strengthen our knowledge and introduce more diverse skillsets into our workplace, including preparing for future growth within manufacturing.

Every year, we welcome apprentices and see the direct benefits of having a development plan in place — many of our qualified apprentices continue to develop their skills as spring technicians. 

If you’d like to discuss the potential of joining our team or if you have any questions, then please contact us.

For over 70 years, European Springs and Pressings has achieved and maintained the highest levels of technical expertise and innovative solutions in bespoke pressings. As leading spring manufacturers, we have to keep up to date with new research and developments within our industry. 

We often update our news page with the latest stories and roundups, so check in regularly to find out what’s happening in UK manufacturing. In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s been happening in manufacturing from June to August 2021. 

Defence & Security Equipment International Show 2021 

We’re attending the DSEI (Defence & Security Equipment International) from 14 – 17 September 2021 at ExCeL London, and you’ll find us at stand number H4-634.

At our stand, you will gain insight into one of the UK’s largest stamping and spring manufacturers. We’ll be happy to answer any questions on our in-house facilities, including our products’ design, prototyping, and assembly production manufacture.

As one of the world’s largest arms fairs, the DSEI showcases arms company representatives and military delegations from around the world — it’s an excellent opportunity to gain access to the global marketplace!

If you’re interested in attending the event as a visitor, register now or find out more about the DSEI 2021 show.

Study Uncovers ‘Integration Gap’ of Industry 4.0 Technology

Many UK manufacturers are actively investing in trials of Industry 4.0 technologies. However, the ‘integration gap’ created by these investments could potentially lead to the industry failing growth or development opportunities that follow the current phase of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Engineer reported that 56% of senior-level decision-makers at UK manufacturing businesses confirmed they had achieved digital transformation in specific business functions. Although, it was also reported that many of those have not progressed in integrating technologies across various business functions.

Industry 4.0 technologies can indeed streamline processes and channel productivity, though the complex nature of applying the technology is clouding the benefits of installing them.

MAKE UK Backs Initiative to Help Manufacturers Retain Young Talent 

Make UK are an official training provider partner that has launched a new initiative to promote and develop the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme. This is a first for both the manufacturing and engineering sectors, aiming to give businesses the skills and tools required to run successful apprenticeship schemes.

Here at European Springs, we’re proud to take on apprentices every year, and by doing so, we see the benefits of those who choose to develop their skills as spring technicians in our press shop. As a business that invests heavily in the industry’s future, we believe it’s essential to introduce and develop skillsets and strengthen our knowledge.

European Springs & Pressings Installs New Press as Part of £700,000 Investment 

We recently installed a BSTA 410-110B2 and high precision servo feeder to increase our press shop capacity and target over £1m in new opportunities.

The high-power automated press and tool monitoring technology gives us a fully adjustable stroke between 16 and 47mm and production speeds of up to 1600 strokes per minute. There’s no doubting that the new press installation is a fantastic addition to our manufacturing facility and can be used for many of the items we produce.

Stuart McSheehy, Managing Director of European Springs & Pressings, commented saying “Our relationship with Bruderer UK goes back more than 15 years, and this will be the third new machine we’ve taken from Adrian Haller and his team.

Find out more about our cutting-edge investment.

New Low-cost Solutions Help Manufacturers Go Digital

In June 2021, The Manufacturer reported that off-the-shelf technology is helping SME manufacturers remodel their businesses with a forward-thinking, digital approach. 

The EPSRC funded Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project that welcomed over 200 companies from across the UK and overseas. The project aims to deliver a toolbox of solutions to be used by both small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses — this will be done using a variety of cost-effective and off-the-shelf technologies.

Read more about the development of the Shoestring approach.

We have a qualified team of experts who are on-hand with 24-hour support to ensure the highest satisfaction for all of our clients. If you’d like to make an enquiry, please get in touch with us directly at



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