UK Government warned about lack of automation

Posted on 21 Mar 2019 and read 891 times
UK Government warned about lack of automation The Government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has heard evidence from a number of the UK’s leading manufacturing experts — including the managing director of Fanuc UK, Tom Bouchier — about the dangers of falling behind other European nations because of the lack of automation.

Mr Bouchier explained how, compared with other European countries, the UKhas been slow to adopt automation in
manufacturing processes.

Outlining the scale of the disparity, he said: “The UK is the only G7 country with a robot density below the world’s average — just 74 units per 10,000 workers.

“This positions the UK behind 14 other European countries, while Germany has a density of 309, making it the most automated nation on the continent.

“It is no longer a question of whether businesses can afford greater automation, but a case of whether they can afford not to automate.

“If we are 30% less productive per hour than a German worker, then we are not going to stay competitive.

“We can’t put the genie back in the bottle; we have to automate in order to keep pace with our competitors.”

Mr Bouchier was referencing a recent report from the International Federation of Robots, which discusses the extent of the UK’s lack of industrial robots.

He added that negative attitudes towards automation could be a contributing factor to the slow adoption in the UK, which is something that needs to be addressed for British manufacturing to increase its capabilities.

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