Robot sales in the UK in 2011 are already 24% higher than the whole of 2010 with orders for the rest of the year remaining strong.
The sales comparison survey, conducted by BARA, the British Automation and Robot Association, was made up of 40 robotics and automation companies and included all major UK robot suppliers.
Mike Wilson, president of BARA, said: “If the uptake of robotics and automation in 2011 continues at this pace, the year-end total forecast for UK robot sales looks to be the best since 2000.
“This is a huge turnaround for the UK market and with schemes like BARA’s Automating Manufacturing Programme, which looks set to help manufacturers of all sizes realise the benefits of automation, it is anticipated that the growth will continue – it’s an amazing recovery from the bleak picture of sales declining year on year since 2005.”
Although it shows clear growth in sales at the end of Q3, it also highlights that Q3 is the lowest of 2011 quarters so far but represents the best Q3 results since 2005.
Wilson added: “The 2011 figures include major orders from the automotive industry which have not been seen since 2005 and exceptional growth is taking place in the food/drink industry which is up by 205% and the aerospace industry which is up by 67% compared to the same period last year.
“These figures beat the recession blues still seen in many sectors of UK manufacturing. Although the UK has some way to go to catch up with the robot sales levels of its European counterparts, these figures are really encouraging and the launch of BARA’s Automating Manufacturing Programme is expected to increase the number of new users, providing stimulus for sales as we go into 2012,” he comments.
BARA, formed in 1979, aims to provide a voice for the robotics and automation industries, when dealing with Government, industry, financial and academic institutions. The Association has over 40 robotics and automation members.