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MiR: ‘UK Lags in Robot Race’

by Marco van der Hoeven

UK industrial workplaces have automated far fewer processes than most other countries and are significantly below the global average for robot adoption. Every day, UK workers spend a lot of time and effort on internal logistics. Now, a number of robotics experts in the UK have come together to show how UK manufacturing can become more competitive through the automation of manual tasks. Learn more in the upcoming online event for interested parties across the UK.

With more than 49,500 units sold worldwide in 2021, mobile robot solutions are becoming more established in transportation and logistics and sales of AMR and AGV increased 45% from 2020 to 2021. However, most of the robots were mainly shipped to other countries than the UK.

23,000 industrial robots are operating in UK factories according to International Federation of Robotics. The UK robot density of 101 units per 10,000 workers is below the world average of 126 units and ranks 24th. This is much lower than most other industrialised countries in Europe and the lowest of the G7 nations.

AMR gain ground

When it comes to automation of logistics, autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are now the largest part of the global market, while autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) are losing ground according to the recent Mobile Robot Report from Interact Analysis.

However, in the British manufacturing industry, many manufacturers in the automotive industry still rely on manual tuggers to tow small loads from warehouse to manufacturing, even though these are not very cost-efficient and involve a lot of manual material handling.

“The United Kingdom has a strong manufacturing industry that has low annual robot installation counts,” according to Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “The automotive and also general industry markets need to invest in automation technology to keep up with international competitors.”

How to get started with logistics automation

In an of upcoming event, British manufacturers will be introduced to the opportunities of autonomous mobile robots. The online event “AMR’s to replace manual tuggers?” is going live 1st December 2022.

During this event an expert from Mobile Industrial Robots and their partners in the UK, RARUK Automation, Handling Concepts, and Sorion Electronics will introduce you to their take on intralogistics and how you can optimize your material transportation tasks – with a fast return on investment.

If you are you currently using manual tuggers in your facility, you should explore the alternatives. You could definitely benefit from our event, if you are interested in optimizing your internal logistics but not sure where to start. Businesses of nearly any size and in nearly every industry are looking at automation to help improve competitiveness and employee safety”, said Adrian Howe, Business Development Manager, Mobile Industrial Robots and continues:

”Manufacturing processes were early targets for automation, and advances in cost-effective, safe, and easy-to-deploy collaborative robots quickly made this type of automation accessible even for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). After seeing fast and substantial return on investment from these technologies, business leaders are now looking to automate other wasteful processes within their organizations.”

The global market of autonomous mobile robots is projected to reach a total value of £8,9 billion by 2030, according to Statzon. The UK market value of autonomous mobile robots is projected to reach £304 million in eight years.

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