Industry Disrupted: Why robotics and 3D printing will disrupt your business


Event Overview

wheel of disruption.jpg

In just 5 years Netflix has decimated the multibillion-pound DVD rental market with their online video streaming service.

Digital disruption is one of the most significant global forces impacting all industries, fuelled by emerging technologies such mobile, big data, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality.

'Industry Disrupted' will provide decision-makers, business owners and policymakers insights into how Robotics, Automation and 3D printing technologies are creating disruptions and significant opportunities for a spectrum of sectors, ranging from aerospace, agriculture, construction, energy, health, logistics, manufacturing, retail and transport to services and the public sector.

The event will begin with a strategic-level discussion, exploring how the dynamics of technological change drives innovation, emerging technologies and disruption. Following this, the disruptive impact of robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing technologies will be discussed in presentations from specialists in these fields.


3D Printer

Why are we are we running this event?

Disruption from robotics and 3D printing represents big threats and opportunities for innovation in many industries. This event will inform delegates on what these threats and opporunities are and how to best manage them from both a strategic and practical perspective.

Who is 'Industry Disrupted' for?

'Industry Disrupted' is for decision makers, business owners and policy makers, interested in understanding how 3D printing or Robotics will affect their industry. The talks will be relevant to a number of sectors, ranging from; aerospace, agriculture, construction, energy, health, logistics, manufacturing, retail and transport to services and the public sector.

Who is organising the event

The Centre for Digital Innovation, in association with: DeltaHedron, JD Barnfather Robotics & Nfire Labs.

Event Itinerary

17th May 2018 at C4DI.

15:20          Arrival with registration (light snacks, coffee)

15:30          Welcome - objectives and agenda (presented by C4DI)

15:45          Emerging technologies  - strategic impact, opportunities and risks (presented by Delta Hedron)

16:15          Emerging Opportunities in Robotics (presented by JD Barnfather Ltd)

16:45          3D printing - the evolution of prototyping and manufacturing (presented by NFire Labs)

17:00         Talks Close (presented by C4DI)

17:10          Practical demonstrations & networking

*This event is invite only - if you have not received an invitation but would like to inquire whether you are eligible for a ticket please email our community manager Dileepa on

Talk information

Talk 1: Managing the impact, opportunities and risks presented by emerging technologies

Presented by: Dr Calie Pistorius, Director at Delta Hedron.

Digital disruption is one of the most significant global forces impacting on all industries, fuelled by a technologies such mobile, cloud and wifi, big data, analytics, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality. This discussion explores how the dynamics of technological change drives innovation, emerging technologies and disruption.

The impact of technological change presents strategic business risks, opportunities and threats to all companies. Emerging technologies have the potential to disrupt not only companies but entire industries, bringing new value propositions and business models with demands for entirely new types of skills. In disrupted industries, new companies become the industry leaders, replacing companies who are slow to adapt and follow their core technologies into obsolescence and oblivion. The possibility that your company (or its suppliers and customers) will be either a disruptor or be disrupted by emerging technologies is real. The strategic leadership challenge is to leverage the next phase of growth, and not fumble the future.

Robotics and 3D printing are technologies which are already creating major disruptions in a spectrum of industrial sectors, ranging from aerospace, agriculture, construction energy health, logistics, manufacturing, retail and transport to services and the public sector.

Talk 2:Emerging Robotics Opportunities

Presented by: Joshua Barnfather, Director at JD Barnfather Ltd.

Alex Youden & Rory

Robotics engineer, Josh Barnfather will discuss the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence R&D. He has extensive experience in this field. Drawing on his experience with Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy, he will provide insight into opportunities relevant to a variety of industries in the context of the next industrial revolution. As a practical example, he will talk his work in artificial intelligence and image processing techniques used for robot navigation around damaged reactor interiors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site and R&D in robotic machining aimed at reducing costs in nuclear pressure vessel manufacturing through in-situ condition monitoring. He is currently working on a project to establish a robotics test-bed for automation demonstration and prototyping. This is aimed at helping industry to understand and take advantage of the various opportunities on offer through robotics implementation, including cost reduction, lead time improvement, reduced down time and increased flexibility.

Talk 3: 3D printing - the evolution of prototyping and manufacturing

Presented by: Alex Youden, Director at Nfire Labs.

3D printing is revolutionising the concepts and business models of manufacturing and ‘how things are made’  – whether they be industrial products, components for engines, nano structures, pharmaceuticals or human organs. It is bringing about radical changes in the way companies develop, test and implement products through additive manufacturing. Alex Youden is the Founder of NFire Labs, a rapidly growing 3D printing company based in the C4DI, which also manufactures and exports 3D printers. He will give an overview of 3D printing technology, with a discussion of the opportunities and threats this emerging technology is presenting to companies in a range of industries. There will be a demonstration with 3D printers built by NFire Labs and the likes of HP, as well as examples of how the likes of local companies Siemens and Spencer Engineering have implemented and utilised 3D printing for competitive advantage.

Speaker Information

Joshua Barnfather

Josh's background is in robotics technology R&D for decommissioning and manufacturing applications in the nuclear industry. This includes work on remote robotics for surveying hostile environments and on industrial robotics for optimising manufacturing processes. He is currently working on projects concerning autonomous robotic condition monitoring in harsh environments and helping companies benefit from emerging opportunities in these areas.

Dr Calie Pistorius

Dr Calie Pistorius is the Chief Executive of DeltaHedron Ltd, a globally-connected business consulting firm based in the United Kingdom. DeltaHedron specialises in the management of technological innovation, with a focus on the strategic impact, opportunities, risks and threats presented by emerging technologies and the dynamics of technological change. He has published widely and has extensive experience in the management of technological innovation. His consulting clients include companies in the telecommunications, information technology, health, steel, energy, mining, electronics, aerospace, food and beverage, paper and pulp, chemical and consulting sectors, as well as universities, science councils, government departments and local authorities.


Alex Youden

Alex Youden founded NFire Labs to make 3D printing as accessible as possible to everyone. Alex was able to pick up the necessary skills during his time at C4DI to turn his 3D printing concept, into a business. Once his internship ended, he has successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign for the ‘NFire One’ 3D printer. This was eventually shipped all over the world and prompted NFire Labs to branch out into the global 3D printing field. Alex has continued to develop a strong set of skills for business, rapid manufacturing and product design allowing NFire to go from strength to strength both locally and internationally.