The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has heard evidence about the dangers of falling behind other European markets due to a lack of automation investment.
Tom Bouchier, managing director, Fanuc UK, explained that the UK had been slow to adopt automation across manufacturing processes.
Speaking about the disparity between markets, Bouchier said: “The UK is the only G7 country with a robot density below the world’s average; a figure that stands at just 74 units per 10,000 workers. This positions the UK behind 14 other European countries, whilst Germany has a density of 309, making it the most automated nation on the continent.”
He went on to say that it was not a case of being able to afford automation, but whether the country could afford not to automate, as the increased productivity supported by such investment would make the country more competitive.
Bouchier added that attitudes to automation could be a contributing factor in slow adoption of the technology and this would have to be addressed before automation density could be increased in the UK.