By October 21, 2015 Read More →

Collaborative robots could drive UK adoption

CollaborativeAs a nation, for many years we’ve lamented the poor state of the UK robotics market. According to a 2014 report by the International federation of robotics (IFR), countries including China, Japan, the United States, Korea and Germany account for 70 per cent of global robot sales.

Despite this global growth, sales of industrial robots in the UK actually decreased by 16 per cent in 2013 to just 2,486 units. To put that into context, Germany purchased over seven times as many and China over fourteen times as many.

Graham Mackrell, managing director of Harmonic Drive, says: “It seems to me one of the biggest obstacles to growth in the UK has traditionally been a reluctance by OEMs to invest in the infrastructure, maintenance, training and expertise required to operate an automated production plant.

“A recent innovation in the form of collaborative robotics could drive UK adoption of industrial robots. Using a mixture of embedded proximity and optical sensors, high precision gears and smart software, the lightweight, often dual-arm robots, work alongside humans and can be trained using lead-through programming where less coding knowledge is needed.

“Collaborative robotics will also improve health and safety, eliminating the need for cages, cells or no-go zones, minimising the impact of human error and, in turn, accidents such as the one which recently led to the death of a factory worker in a German automotive factory.

“With the right change in attitude and a focus on proactive innovation, collaborative robots have the power to drive growth in the UK robotic market.”

Visit the Harmonic Drive website for more information.

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