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UK robot sales soar

03 February 2011

BARA, the British Automation and Robot Association, reports that 2010 UK robot sales rose 65% on 2009 figures, reversing the declining trend in robot sales, which the UK has seen year on year since 2005. A recent end-of-year robot sales comparison survey carried out by BARA, which is made up of 40 robotics and automation companies and includes all major UK robot suppliers, shows that the increase in robot sales was much higher than industry pundits initially predicted.

Significantly, the survey shows that the automotive sector is declining, having taken 35% of sales in 2010 compared with 48% in 2006, whereas sales to late adopters of automation - namely the food, pharmaceutical and aerospace industries  - are all up.

One area of concern, given that the growth sectors are mostly made up of larger companies, is that this survey may indicate that SMEs still have a lack of automation awareness. BARA plans an awareness programme with a series UK Road Shows which will begin this month. These events will provide manufacturers with a source of information and know-how so that they can overcome any obstacles that may be suppressing uptake of automation.

Illustrated here, Staubli 6-axis robots are built into The Automation Partnership’s cell culture and drug discovery automated systems.

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