Automation innovation

The Manufacturer’s conference producer, Nicholas Cox explores the ever-increasing pace of innovation in the automation landscape.

There are now a multitude of solutions allowing manufacturers to monitor the health and efficiency of their entire factory and supply chain from anywhere in the world in real-time.

Festo Flexible Robot
Collaborative robotics (‘cobots’) are moving out of their cages to truly work alongside their humans counterparts.

Collaborative robotics (‘cobots’) are moving out of their cages to truly work alongside their humans counterparts, resulting in the operators previously performing dirty, dangerous and repetitive tasks being up-skilled and redeployed to greater value adding activities.

Although these are just two ways in which the world of automation is evolving, it’s safe to say there are some impressive applications of the technology which is affording the most forward thinking and innovative businesses a distinct competitive advantage.

In an age where the brand loyal, price conscious, baby boomer customer base is being displaced by consumers demanding greater customisation and accustomed to “one click, next day delivery”, manufacturers are taking steps to improve the responsiveness and agility of their supply chains.

The Manufacturer, along with its partners on the Automation Advisory Board, acknowledge that this is an area of great importance. Having read the reports that UK manufacturing needs to do more to keep pace with its European counterparts, the two recently set up the Automation Advisory Board Thought Leadership Network (AABTLN).

AABTLN logo newsletterThis unique forum provides the means to educate the owners, managers and directors of UK manufacturing businesses about what automation equipment can do and the benefits it can bring – in a nut shell, greater efficiency, productivity and profitability through investment in automation.

In addition to networking and knowledge sharing, the AABTLN is hosting its inaugural annual conference, Automate UK, on March 2, bringing together case study examples of best practice in advanced industrial automation.

BMW Mini will be discussing the impact cobots has had on a plant that produces a car every 67 seconds; and winner of the World Class Manufacturing 2015 TMMX Award, Accolade Wines will be sharing how it employs lean principles to an automated factory by using real time data to encourage positive workforce behaviour.

Insight into what’s possible with modern automation equipment will also come from the winners of The Manufacturer of the Year 2015 TMMX Award, Lambert Engineering, with delegates able to hear from its successful innovation team.

Automate UK: growth through automation

The Automation Advisory Board Thought Leadership Network’s annual conference, Automate UK provides the opportunity to learn from the most innovative manufacturers embracing automation, and offers a unique benchmarking experience to all those who attend.

You can find out more information here.