Robot sales in EU leave UK behind

Posted on 13 Jun 2019 and read 585 times
Robot sales in EU leave UK behindAccording to the World Robotics Report 2019, published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) (, installations of industrial robots in the UK fell by 3% to 2,306 units in 2018 (in 2017, robot sales in the UK had risen by 31%).

That said, the European Union’s recent robot sales have been positive — up 12%.

In terms of robot density by region, Europe has the highest level world-wide, with 106 industrial robots per 10,000 employees installed in the manufacturing industry.

The world top 10 includes Germany (3rd), Sweden (5th), Denmark (6th), Belgium (9th) and Italy (10th).

The UK ranks 22nd world-wide, with a density of 85 units, which is equivalent to the global average. China overtook the UK in 2017 and is currently ranked 21st, with 97 units.

Mike Wilson, chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA) (, said: “The UK has been adding robot automation at a lower rate than our main competitors in all manufacturing sectors except automotive.

“Over many years, the UK has attracted workers from other countries, with businesses preferring to hire people rather than invest in capital equipment.

"The consequences of the Brexit vote and subsequent political developments are leading to reduced labour availability, as the many workers who have come over from Eastern Europe are starting to return home.

“As a result, businesses have to ensure that they use their workforce effectively and find alternative ways of performing tasks for which they have a shortage of staff — robot automation being an obvious solution.”

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