Manufacturing Made Smarter

Manufacturing Made Smarter

Improving Utilisation Of Equipment Using Digital Technology

More about the project…


Agile Group Systems & Services are proud to be working on a major project funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, that delivers a disruptive digitally enabled tool to manage aerospace capacity in real-time across the supply chain. Lead by the Agile subsidiary Redthorn and working with client partners Warren Services, Unilathe and Packaging Automation.

The team at Redthorn are renowned for ensuring the development and distribution of our MRP software to businesses within the aerospace, energy, defence, engineering and manufacturing sectors. But while our service delivery is of the highest standard, we want to know more about whether our clients are maximising their utilisation of our MRP programmes, and whether they are reaping the true benefits of the software for their benefit of their businesses. This includes being able to plan for the future from a digital perspective and making the most of their client data as part of their growth strategy. Yet this is something that many organisations have struggled to achieve.

Redthorn are delighted to be the lead partner in an 18-month project which will expand upon the existing software to create a new digitally enabled tool that allows organisations to manage and increase capacity along with productivity.

The scope of the project is to explore the potential for additional customer support options when it comes to using their OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), MRP (Material Requirements Planning) and Forecast Data. These will all come together to bring about a higher understanding of capacity data and an enhanced utilisation of all industry equipment with the creation of new digital technology software.

This project began during the summer of 2020 and will run through to the latter stages of 2021 and early 2022. It is being co-managed by a key member of each organisation: Tom Rootes, operating director at Redthorn, and Mark Hughes, project director at Agile Group Systems & Services.

As noted, companies within the aforementioned sectors already have OEE, MRP and Forecast Data, but questions have been raised as to whether this information is being effectively utilised to its maximum potential. Despite all this crucial data, the perception is that more could be done for the benefit of clients and their products.

That is why we are focusing on what could happen next to ensure thorough utilisation of this key data. The goal is for the combined research to bring about a brand new digital reporting and data management platform for all clients of these industries to use. It would incorporate predictive analysis and scenario monitoring; remote monitoring; a capacity heat map; and an innovative software user interface.

For this to become a reality, the current project has several points along its journey to fruition. Our collective teams have to understand the data sources in order to install the tools that can bring this data together. We must also learn what customers truly want from data management before building a data platform that meets their requirements. Furthermore, the interface must be developed with a view to offering quick and easy access to vital data management functions. The prototype will then be evaluated for its success, with modifications made where necessary, before receiving a full roll-out to the key industries.

Redthorn are very excited to be part of this project. Already, great strides have been made with high-level industry expertise being shared for the creation of in-depth technical report documents. We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the most advanced, user-friendly and feature-packed data reporting and management software solution possible.

By having this 18-month timeframe along with the depth of research being conducted, we’re positive that the digitally enabled tool which will be rolled out in the years to come will set a new standard for innovation and proactive usage of client data. We believe this will prove to be a game-changer for these major industries, and we look forward to continuing this process towards the eventual result of the most progressive, comprehensive and accessible digitally enabled tool yet for data reporting and management of clients and data.

If you want to know more about Redthorn’s work you can find this information by heading to our website, which is



More about Innovate UK…


Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.  

We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.  

We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D.  Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit their website.


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