Process and control today | Is robotics poised to play a leading role in the next ten years of British manufacturing?

Technology is constantly changing our daily lives and has a particular impact on the world of work. Automation is fast becoming a key conversation across many sectors in Britain, including manufacturing with robotics emerging as the solution.

In recent years, a need to move towards more automation in the manufacturing industry has been felt. In fact, a survey carried out by ABB Robotics found that out of 250 SMBs and manufacturing companies, 81.2% were considering integrating robotics into their processes to combat labor shortage issues and supply chain disruptions.

In this article we will see how, in order to meet the demand for British manufacturing, more and more companies are adopting robotics as a solution. We’ll also dive into what they can do for your business.

What can robots do for you?

A big question for companies that are still reluctant to use robots is what they can do to improve processes. By automating sections of your manufacturing processes with robots, you have the opportunity to stay competitive in an ever-changing industry.

Replacing traditional labor with robots in your processes can help increase efficiency. Robots don’t need breaks and they are programmed to perform specific practices with much smaller margins of error than humans. This translates into more profitable production for your business, which could generate greater revenue for a lower-paid workforce.

Robotics can also be useful when it comes to tasks that require stability that cannot always come reliably from humans. Whether it’s handling or removing potentially harmful or dangerous materials, welding or separating materials from each other, robotics makes it much easier to perform these tasks.

They work among us…

Manufacturing in the UK has embraced a ‘quality over quantity’ mentality, focusing on getting maximum value from every product produced, and robotics are now embedded in processes.

Between 2020 and 2021, the UK has become one of the top 15 for industrial robot sales worldwide. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has found that 2,205 manufacturers robots were installed throughout 2020, bringing the total in the country to around 23,000.

These robots are mainly found in the automotive industry in the UK with around 875 or 16% of those installed in 2020. Several sectors see an advantage in the application of robots due to a lack of workers, including food and drink. sector, which already uses industrial machinery and hydraulic cylinderssaw an increase to 304 robots in 2020. This is a 96% increase in volume from the previous year.

To look forward

Although these numbers continue to rise, the IFR always ranked the UK outside the top 20 countries with robot density in manufacturing. We can deduce that there is still room for the presence of robotics in manufacturing to grow on our shores.

The government itself has outlined the possible growth in a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Estimate that there was a potential annual growth of 40% for robotics and autonomous systems in the UK between 2020 and 2030. This in turn could mean an additional £6.4 billion in value for the UK economy by 2035. And if our creation and sale of autonomous robots is set to increase, our use in a number of industries could increase along with it.

Automating your business process with robotics is not something to be afraid of. The myth that robotics steals jobs has long been debunked, and there is plenty of room for improvements within the manufacturing industry that they can help address. Implementing robotics can help keep your business competitive in the global marketplace, as well as provide efficiencies that cannot be achieved with manual labor. There are currently a record number of robots installed; however, there is still room for growth, and the amount of revenue that could boost the UK economy if more are installed is staggering.

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