According to the IFR (International Federation of Robotics) World Robotics Report 2015, there are 16,935 robots in the UK. There are 1,200 large UK manufacturing companies and 87,000 SMEs – between 10,000 and 20,000 of these are potential candidates for robotic automation. The latest forecast from the IFR says that by 2019, more than 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. In the race for automation in manufacturing, the European Union is currently one of the global frontrunners: 65% of countries with an above-average number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees are located in the EU.
“Automation is a central competitive factor for traditional manufacturing groups, but is also becoming increasingly important for small and medium-sized enterprises around the world”, says Joe Gemma, President of the IFR.
The number of industrial robots deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019. That’s about one million units more than in the record-breaking year of 2015. Broken down according to sectors, around 70% of industrial robots are currently at work in the automotive, electrical/electronics and metal and machinery industry segments. In 2015, the strongest growth in the number of operational units recorded was registered in the electronics industry, which boasted a rise of 18%.
“After a long period of lagging behind the rest of the world, the UK is finally starting to see a growth in the take-up of robotic automation, as businesses start to recognise their competitive potential,” says Mike Wilson, who is President of the British Automation and Robot Association.
Productivity benefits include:
- speeding up a volume manufacturing process
- making a process more flexible and reduce batch sizes and reduce changeover times
- making a process more reliable, more repeatable, more consistent
- making a process safer, or more ergonomic
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