Transforming SME manufacturing businesses

Our experienced teams of experts are here to help you transform your manufacturing SME and grow your bottom line.

Two manufacturing SME employees wearing hard hats discuss an issue

Transforming your business

As one of the UK’s 200,000+ manufacturing SMEs, it’s often hard to know where to start if you want to grow your business, and grow quickly. With the increasing cost of energy and materials, your balance sheet could be starting to look increasingly red.

Investments in optimising your production, in new products and markets and in the skills of your workforce are key to growth. But these investments can feel like a big risk in this environment.

We’re here to help.


How we can help

Transform your bottom line

We can help you cut your production costs, energy usage and waste whilst improving your products for your customers.

Grow fast

We can help you access new markets, connect to the right partners and make data-led decisions to enable faster business growth.

Build your productivity

We can help you upskill your workforce and optimise both your production and supply chain, freeing you up to expand.

Connect and expand

We can help you connect with the right partners in industry, government and academia to turn your ideas into commercial reality.

Can we help – SMEs

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SME manufacturers transformed each year

SME manufacturers advised each year

Manufacturing and engineering experts across the HVM Catapult

Manufacturing experts, working for you

Our manufacturing and engineering experts will:

  • Find the right place for your project, whether that’s with us or another organisation
  • Discover the opportunities, risks and needs of your business
  • Provide detailed, impartial advice tailored to your business
  • Build the right plan to deliver for your business
  • Develop the right solution to transform your business, whether that’s new products, processes or skills

Your manufacturing transformation journey

To transform your business you need to be in the right place with the right plan for the right solution.

Our 3-step process can help you get there.


Getting you to the right place

Our manufacturing and engineering experts will give you free impartial advice on the best direction and place for your project, whether that’s with us or another organisation. We’ll then use our national network to help you make the connections you need to succeed.

Learn about our Engage services


Helping you build the right plan

Using our expertise and industry-proven experience, we work directly with you to build the right plan to transform your business. Our detailed recommendations will guide you to the best ways you can improve your products, processes and skills to deliver business value.

Learn about our Discover services


Empowering you with the right solution

We give you access to our world-class facilities, cutting-edge equipment and industry-proven experience, and help your business secure the right skills and partnerships for your project. Based on our proposal, we work with you to develop the right solution to transform your bottom line, build your supply chain and access new markets.

Learn about our Transform services

What we offer to manufacturing businesses

We can help you to minimise the risk of high-growth projects with open access to industry-leading experts, cutting-edge equipment, world-class facilities and the best of engineering research.

Slash your energy costs

Many manufacturers are running equipment in ways that waste significant amounts of energy, hurting their bottom line and the environment.

Our experts have the experience and industry know-how to help you make your money go further.

Save up to 46% energy savings across your manufacturing process
Person in a lab coat using manufacturing machinery

SME Manufacturing Success Stories

View all SME case studies


Helping an SME halve lead times and boost sales

The MTC created and supported Raybloc through a development journey to achieve the goals of the business that began with coaching and mentoring the workforce and helping the business to understand the priorities, issues, culture and opportunities of the current-state.

3 February 2022


Less than five weeks to become the UK’s largest supplier of critical PPE

The Black Country-based Ramfoam secured a contract to supply the UK Government with 3.5 million face visors per week to help protect workers across the public sector. To achieve this, they had to scale their output by 300 times in a matter of weeks.

2 February 2022


Keeping a watchmakers’ machine tool ticking over

The AMRC’s support means that Loomes & Co now have an improved machining process; knowledge of basic machining practices; skills development including design software; redesigned fixtures; and sample part production. Sometimes it’s the simplest of interventions that give firms the freedom to innovate.

3 February 2022

Our Engage services

Getting you to the right place


We offer free impartial advice to direct you to the right partners (both within or outside the HVM Catapult) to transform your business. Our manufacturing and engineering experts will explore your initial thinking with you to see if we’re the best fit to help transform your business

If we we’re not the best fit, we’ll refer you to other services that can help

Get in touch

Our expert-led events can help you to get to grips with the basics of new technologies and how they can transform your business. Event audiences are also the perfect place to meet similar businesses and potential partners across the supply chain

Many of these events are public and open-access – you can register for these now if you’re interested.

See our latest events
Our Discover services

Helping you build the right plan

Manufacturing energy toolkit (national pilot)

The changing price of energy, both electricity and gas, can be a major risk for your business. Our experts have the experience and industry know-how to help you slash energy usage across your manufacturing process by up to 46%, helping you to make your money go further.

Cut manufacturing energy costs
Line walk

After the initial consultation, our experts may need a tour of your production facility to find any ‘easy wins’ in optimising your production line or area, assess your ability to scale capability within your factory and meet your engineers and workers to find out more about day-to-day struggles.

Start your journey
Site visit

After the initial consultation, our experts may need to visit your facilities to find any ‘easy wins’ across your whole operation, assess your ability to adapt to market changes with your current setup and meet your business leaders to find out more about your plans for growth.

Start your journey
Discovery workshop

After the initial consultation, our experts may need to bring you into our facilities (either physically or digitally) to host a workshop on your business needs. We will find out more about your complex business challenge, work through your ideas using the experience of colleagues across the HVM Catapult and share our ideas for your business needs.
Start initial scoping of a roadmap for your business challenge

Start your journey
Start your journey

Talk to our manufacturing and engineering experts today

Our Transform services

Empowering you with the right solution

Innovation project

If we are the right partners for your business needs, a team of our world-leading engineers will work directly with you to research and develop the right solution for your challenge. Whether this is a new product, technology or process, or the adoption of existing technologies or processes in your business, we’ll work with you to achieve joint goals and maximise your growth.

Start your journey

In your business action plan, we might recommend training in using specific manufacturing technologies, processes or materials. We offer tailored training, digital courses, apprenticeships and in-depth guidance on sectoral competence frameworks.

Start your journey
Knowledge Transfer Partnership

If we think your business would benefit from extended in-house support to address your challenge, we may recommend that we help recruit a graduate engineer for your business as part of a government-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Start your journey
Start your journey

Talk to our manufacturing and engineering experts today

HVM Catapult centres

Working through and with our seven centres of industrial innovation, we have cover development in areas from material formulation to advanced assembly.

Where do I start and how do I get in touch?

Whether you have an idea for a new product, want to make your manufacturing business more productive or sustainable, or need a hand in moving beyond your current manufacturing industry or market, we’re here for you.

Read our FAQs for answers to some common questions.

Two people test a manufacturing product
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