Government provides £600k to boost manufacturing automation

21 September 2011

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

A grant worth £600,000 has been awarded by the Government to a project aimed at encouraging more manufacturers in the UK to invest in automation technology.

The scheme, which will be rolled out and managed by the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA), is intended to enhance production processes in Britain.

It will provide businesses with independent, impartial advice about the implementation of related solutions in order to boost their competitiveness and improve the efficiency of their operations.

The funding provided by the Government follows advice published as part of the 'Application of Automation in UK Manufacturing' in September last year and is intended to increase uptake of the technology among firms in the industry.

"If UK manufacturing is to fulfil its potential of becoming a significant force in global markets then automation needs to be at its very heart," Mike Wilson, President of BARA, declared.

Under the Automating Manufacturing Programme, which is now in force, is expected to result in better productivity, waste reduction and profit growth for those companies involved.

The initiative will run until the end of March 2013 and is targeted primarily and small and medium-sized enterprises and Chris Buxton, Processing & Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA) Chief Executive, said it "could fundamentally change for the better, the way that they do business".

Businesses will undergo a review of their manufacturing operation, an audit to identify ways of boosting production through automation, receive a recommendation report and hold a review meeting. This is intended to lead to the successful planning and implementation of automation solutions.

Figures recently reported by BARA have shown there was strong growth in the use of professional service robots worldwide during 2010, with this trend expected to continue until 2014.

A four per cent year-on-year rise was recorded in sales by the IFR Statistical Department between 2009 and 2010, with military applications accounting for 45 per cent of the total units purchased last year.

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