Throughout its 15-year history, EMCON – which showcases engineering and manufacturing excellence in the North East and beyond – has helped companies to make new connections, extend their supply chains and build brand awareness.

And the event has also led to the creation of exciting new partnerships…

SMS Tech – an EMCON origin story

For EMN member Smart Manufacturing Solutions (SMS), a trip to EMCON 2021 sparked a game changing collaboration.

Launched at the end of 2019, Smart Manufacturing Solutions (SMS) is an outsourced service provider for the automotive, locomotive and aerospace manufacturing sectors. Its services are designed using lean principles to optimise product quality, process efficiency and effectiveness.

The Seaham-based company supports businesses throughout the product life cycle, from development to production to the after sales market, and its services include consultancy,  process support, vehicle inspection and rework, and recruitment.

SMS joined EMN in 2020 and began to attend network events, finding new suppliers such as C&A Embroidery & Print along the way.

The company booked an exhibition stand at EMCON 2021, hoping to further raise its profile in the manufacturing and engineering sector.

And a chat with fellow exhibitors – digital transformation specialists Fit Factory – led SMS to open a new chapter in its growth journey.

SMS had met the Fit Factory team before.

EMCON, however, gave SMS the opportunity to discuss its expertise in solutions for ‘shop floor’ operations with Fit Factory, which is part of Scale Digital Ventures.

The relationship between the two companies flourished and from this partnership, SMS Tech was launched in 2021.

Combining SMS’s in-depth experience in manufacturing sector operations with Scale Digital Ventures’ expertise in innovating, delivering and supporting manufacturing software, SMS Tech provides a digital solution to operational areas management, removing paper and increasing traceability and compliance. It is designed to improve efficiency, overall performance and reduce the carbon footprint of organisations.

SMS Tech has already won major contracts across the aerospace, automotive and healthcare sectors, with more in the pipeline.

“EMCON 2021 was crucial for us,” says Peter Williams, CEO of SMS Tech and Director of Quality Assurance at SMS. “It enabled us to have a deeper conversation with Fit Factory and this led to further discussions. SMS Tech was born out of these meetings.”

SMS and SMS Tech exhibited at EMCON 2022 and will be back this year: SMS Tech is also supporting the event, which is being held at Rainton Arena, as a Silver Sponsor.

So why is EMCON on the SMS calendar?

“EMCON gives you the ability to showcase all of the services you offer,” Peter replies. “Sometimes people might not always know everything that your company does, so it’s useful to have a platform to explain it to them in person.

“And for SMS Tech, EMCON is fantastic for generating brand awareness: through the event we can gain exposure for our solutions within the engineering and manufacturing community.

“EMCON is brilliant value for money too, especially when compared to larger ‘national’ trade exhibitions. It’s a bargain!

“We go to as many EMN events as possible and have built some great relationships for both SMS and SMS Tech.”

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