NUMBER OF ROBOTS IN UK ON THE RISE
25 September 2012
According to Mitsubishi Electric, the number of robots in UK factories and production plants is growing at an unprecedented rate as the manufacturing sector prepares for an ever-more competitive and globalised future.
A seminar organised by Mitsubishi Electric, Cognex Vision and the British Automation and Robot Association looked at developments in the field.
"Parts of British manufacturing are already highly automated,” says Barry Weller, a robots product manager with Mitsubishi Electric. "This tends to be plant and machinery for high volume manufacturing and in the processing industries. But we are really only just discovering the advantages of robots. These are highly flexible so can be programmed and reprogrammed to meet the constantly changing needs of shorter run production cycles.”
This year will see about 1000 new robots installed in Britain, and it is expected that this will create 2000- 3000 new jobs.
"We used to think that robots put people out of work, but perceptions have matured now and we understand that they allow manufacturers to expand, thus creating new jobs. They free up people for value-adding, interesting jobs. Significantly, the technology is now so stable that it is common for robots to be left running unsupervised through the night.”