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Robotic Automation helping to overcome the productivity challenge

The use of robotic automation in improving efficiency has been one of the cornerstones of Industry 4.0 but many firms in the manufacturing and engineering sectors are still unaware of the cost-effectiveness of the technology in helping to overcome the productivity challenge.

Robotics companies exhibiting at MACH 2020 will be demonstrating the benefits such technology can offer businesses – large and small – and how quickly a return on investment can be achieved.

Mike Wilson, Managing Director of KUKA Robotics is a leading advocate of the technology because of its ability to provide a cost-effective solution to improving productivity – something which will be of vital importance to British manufacturers as they look to develop new markets in a post-Brexit economy.

He said: “A lot of UK industry is suffering because we aren’t as productive as our major competitors overseas. Firms are also suffering in terms of labour availability as it’s difficult to find workers. Robotic automation is an obvious solution to that because unless we can increase our use of automation and become more productive, it’s going to be increasingly harder to be competitive in world markets.”

Showcasing the effectiveness of robotic automation will be one of the key themes of MACH 2020, which is why KUKA Robotics is encouraging firms to come and visit its stand.

As the biggest show of its kind in the UK, KUKA will be mounting a strong presence at MACH 2020 and will be demonstrating its products to visitors keen to explore the advantages robotics can offer their businesses.

Mr Wilson adds: “Most of the companies KUKA Robotics works with gain in terms of the quality of the product they produce, they gain in terms of productivity and production speed. For example, for a typical machine tool being loaded and unloaded manually, you may only be getting 60% utilisation out of that investment. Whereas if you install a robot system to load and reload automatically then you can increase the utilisation of that machine up to about 90%.

“You get a significant benefit in terms of improving the utilisation of your machine tools as well as the other benefits in terms of quality and productivity. It’s about using robots where robots can add value, such as repetitive and mundane tasks, and then utilising your people where their skills can add value to the product.”

Mr Wilson said regular dialogue with financial organisations such as MACH sponsor Lloyds Bank, had shown him funding support was available for companies looking to invest in robotics.

“There is also financial support available through the government after the increase in the Annual Investment Allowance to £1 million – it’s never been that high before. Effectively that means companies can recover some of their investment against their tax and therefore it costs them less,” he added.

“We’re hopeful that companies looking at this kind of technology will come to MACH 2020 and talk to us. They’ll get opportunities to see some of the things we have to offer, but once the conversation is underway then they can visit us, and we can visit them, and together we can develop the right solutions. The key to all that is getting started and the MACH show is a great vehicle for that.”

Join KUKA Robotics and hundreds of other suppliers at MACH 2020 to discover how to increase your productivity.