Slow down for UK robot sales

03 June 2019

The preliminary results of the World Robotics Report 2019, published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has highlighted the fact that installations of industrial robots in the UK fell by 3%, to 2,306 units in 2018.

In the previous year, robot sales in the UK had risen by 31%. This does not compare well to robot sales across the EU, where numbers are still positive - up 12%. 

Commenting on the figures, 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 outside of 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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