Robot sales have increased by 68% over the last year, according to the latest statistics from the British Robot and Automation Association (BARA).
Almost all of the major robotics suppliers to British manufacturing have reported this trend, the most dramatic growth coming from the automotive and automotive components sectors with rises of 235% and 176%.
BARA reported that it was surprised by low uptake of automation in both the food and drink and pharmaceutical sectors, which decreased by 8% and 76%.
The 76% fall in the pharmaceutical sector is indicitive of a wider fall in sales over over 20%, which has led to many leading company to cut costs – AstraZeneca announcing its that 7,300 employees would be axed last week.
Mike Wilson, chairman of BARA, said: “We are delighted with such an increase in industrial robot sales over the year although most of this has been within the automotive industry.”
Mr Wilson added: “Most sectors have experienced increases and this represents the best growth statistics since 1997. Average growth is nearly 70% year-on-year which represents strong sales for most of the robot manufacturers.”
Wilson stated that significant government funding was aiding the promotion of robotics in UK manufacturing, which according to BARA, recognises that robots actually create more jobs through growth.
Currently over 100 companies are making use of the free automation review open to any UK manufacturer. Combined with an improved economic enviroment, BARA predict that this will lead to further growth in robot sales over the next couple of years.