The number of industrial robots installed in the United Kingdom ranks 22nd worldwide with only 91 units per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing Industry – International Federation of Robotics reports. At the same time, post-Brexit immigration plans unveiled by the government wants to move away from relying on “cheap labour” from Europe. The lack of education for working with robots has already been recognized: 65 percent of the UK’s working population want these skills promoted as a top priority by policy makers. 68 percent predict, that the use of robots is essential for the competitiveness of the UK’s economy. These are results of the automatica trend index 2020. For the study, 1,000 employees have been surveyed representative of the population on behalf of the world’s leading trade fair for smart automation and robotics automatica (Munich, June 16-19).
“Over many years, the UK has attracted workers from other countries, with businesses preferring to hire people rather than invest in automation equipment,” says Mike Wilson, Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA). “After Brexit, businesses have to ensure that they use their workforce effectively – robot automation being an obvious solution.”
“The UK’s working population already welcomes robots, to do the dirty, dull and dangerous work: 73 percent want the machines to take monotonous routine jobs off the hands of employees,” says Dr. Martin Lechner, study director of automatica’s trend index. “About 80 percent want robots take on tasks with hazardous materials and carry out work that is harmful to health, like lifting heavy loads.”
“In terms of robot density by region, Europe has the highest level worldwide,” says Patrick Schwarzkopf of VDMA – Europe’s largest network organization for mechanical engineering. “The five countries Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Italy all make the global top-10 regarding robotization, whereas the UK ranks only 22nd. Not good news for the UK, as robot adoption is key for driving productivity growth.”
automatica trend index 2020
For the 2020 automatica trend index, a total of 7,000 employees were interviewed in 7 countries: US, CN, JP, UK, GER, FR, IT: