In response to the widespread disruptions of these past few years, manufacturers are under immense pressure to remain competitive and are turning to technology to automate and digitise operations. These changes will, of course, vary between sectors, but there is no doubt that we will see transformation sweeping across all industries in the next decade.
Manufacturing Technology in the UK Today.
The global economy has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters since 2020. Manufacturers face major challenges due to surging consumer demand, labour shortages and ongoing supply chain problems into 2022.
Manufacturers in the United Kingdom have an opportunity to reimagine their industry and revive it during times of global turmoil. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which includes digitisation, artificial intelligence, robots and additive manufacturing, can help boost performance, shape new business models, and drive sustainable growth. Some UK companies have been the pioneers of this shift, moving quickly to embrace digitisation and technology in production.
What Are the Advantages of Robots and Automation?
There are many ways to view and interpret automation software and its impact on UK manufacturing. Here are some of the key advantages of automation that should not be overlooked:
- Lower operating costs due to process automation.
- Increased product quality and decreased error.
- Improved consistency throughout.
- Increased flexibility and better use of space.
- Less human contact and increased social distancing capabilities.
- Lasting competitive advantage.
- New and improved business models.
- Safer manufacturing.
What About The Future?
There are several impacts that can come from automation and the future of work, such as:
New Complications and New Opportunities.
Along with other common complications, Covid-19 and the UK’s new trading rules with the EU have been significant drivers of supply chain disruptions and shortages. Many firms have navigated the transition gracefully and effectively, but many manufacturers still face short-term challenges.
This, however, doesn’t spell doom for all manufacturers. Instead, it brings forth a broad new range of opportunities for manufacturers in many sub-sectors. Manufacturers have the opportunity to grow by increasing production for the domestic market, substituting imports from Europe, and expanding exports to non-EU markets. Understanding these challenges and opportunities is critical to unlocking the advantages and chart strategies for the future of automation.
New Value, Jobs, and Development.
There are strong reasons to revive industrial Britain and speed up its development. One reason is its size; the manufacturing sector contributes significantly to the UK’s GDP and employment. The manufacturing industry accounted for nearly 9 percent of the country’s GDP and was valued at almost £400 billion. This is a prize that must be protected and nurtured.
Another reason is the large number of highly-skilled, high-quality jobs this sector can provide. The 4IR will decrease the number of repetitive tasks humans have to do, but a more competitive manufacturing sector will increase demand for technical, analytical and managerial positions. Employers will be encouraged to invest in reskilling or upskilling their existing workforces. Manufacturers can create high-quality jobs across the UK from a variety of sites. Manufacturing also boosts expertise. A strong manufacturing sector and the United Kingdom’s scientific and technical sector can work together to support each other.
The United Kingdom could see a new industrial revolution, with bold companies that respond to a dynamic marketplace with technological innovation, agility and reskilling. And it’s a great opportunity for long-term sustainability.
The Bisham team are experts in warehouse automation and mechanisation. In a fast-moving environment, small changes can achieve enormous gains. There are several critical factors that organizations need to assess in preparation for the journey to automation. A Rapid Automation Review needs to be carried out – RAR.