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How to make the most of robotics and automation in your manufacturing business

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Barry Crackett is a product designer at Brushtec, a brushware manufacturer which has benefitted greatly from embracing robotics and automation. In this article, he explains how your business could also benefit from automation.

The UK is falling far behind much of the industrialised world when it comes to embracing robotics and automation, according to The Telegraph.

There are reportedly 500 robots for every 10,000 manufacturing employees in South Korea, 300 in Germany and 200 in Denmark and Sweden.

In stark contrast the UK has just 71 for every 10,000 workers, which means that our manufacturing industry might struggle to catch up if companies don’t start taking stock of the situation and putting more effort into adapting to survive. 

So, why aren’t British companies jumping at the chance to improve their capacity and productivity with robotics and automation?

One likely reason is that businesses are concerned that doing so could lead to job losses across the sector.

However, the recent Future-proofing UK Manufacturing report published by Barclays Bank claims that “increased automation would not only have a positive impact on output but would also safeguard UK manufacturing jobs in the future”, as businesses will grow as a result.

In fact, it even highlighted that this could have a knock-on effect and create jobs in related sectors.

At Bushtec we have made a point of investing in the newest and most efficient technology from the very beginning. We’ve seen first-hand how this can increase productivity, help a company to remain competitive, and create more jobs within a business. Since automating parts of our production line, we’ve never looked back.

Of course, as with anything, there have been some slight drawbacks. For example, we’re now required to train our workers to a much higher standard in order to get the most out of the technology we’ve invested in.

Plus, it takes more time to switch between contracts, which means that we need to be a lot more thorough with our planning as our production runs need to be larger to compensate for this.

However, overall, investing in automation has had a very positive effect on our company.

Here are some ways in which doing the same could benefit your business, too.

You’ll waste less material

Embracing automation in your manufacturing processes will increase the quality and consistency of your products.

This means that more of your work with be completed to a high standard on the first go, resulting in less of your raw materials being wasted.

Your output will increase

The beauty of robots is that they can be left running all day, all night, and through weekends if necessary.

Therefore, when you automate parts of your production line, you’re able to accept more jobs and take bigger orders with the confidence that you can fulfil them.

This means you can increase your output and, subsequently, your profits.

You’ll improve your employees’ working lives

One aspect we’ve particularly enjoyed is being able to make our workers’ jobs a lot easier, as well as reduce the risk of our employees getting injured.

We now have robots doing most of the heavy lifting, which has turned long absences into a rarity, and created a nicer working environment in general.

Embracing robotics and automation has benefited Brushtec greatly – we can complete larger orders faster and to a higher standard than ever before.

As a result, our business has grown far beyond our expectations. If you would like your company to develop in a similar way, consider looking in to how you can automate your production line – you won’t regret it.