Read the latest Vision Update
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Robots on the rise... but the UK lags behind

There are now 126 industrial robots for every 10,000 workers worldwide... according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) in its 2021 'World Robot Report'. That's almost double the number from just five years ago.

The top 5 countries for robotic adoption (robots per 10k workers) are
South Korea (932), Singapore (605), Japan (390), Germany (371) and Sweden (289).

Any surprises on that list?

The UK (the world's fifth-largest economy) places just 24th, with a mere 101 robots per 10k workers. The good news? That’s up 57% since 2015, especially with the “exodus of foreign labor” after Brexit - which saw 1.3 million workers leaving the EU. Couple the national labour shortage with 'super-deduction' tax breaks which allow companies to claim 130% of capital allowances as tax relief for plant and machinery investments, and it’s clear that as we head into 2022, demand for robots is climbing higher by the day. But if the UK is to catch the world's automation powerhouses, we must keep it up.

As IFR President Milton Guerry says: “Robot density is the barometer to track the degree of automation adoption in the manufacturing industry around the world."

One factor we need to acknowledge is the apparent parallel between countries with a low or declining birth rate and those excelling in automation - as all 20 leaders in terms of global robot density have a fertility rate below the recommended 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population.

A recent report by GlobalData states that “robotics has a long history, but only recently have conditions aligned to unlock its full potential”. Well, now's the time for business leaders to invest in automation and unlock the potential of robotics to be an essential lifeline, combating waning productivity and supply chain issues.

One UK company doing exactly that is Ocado. The online grocer has invested heavily in automation to fill gaps in the workforce and pick, pack, and fulfil orders at pace, which has resulted in it being named the best UK company for robotics by GlobalData.

With labour costs rising, and the 'super-deduction' here until March 2023, it's clear that now is the time to start seeing automation as a crucial arm of manufacturing - and an investment which can quickly pay for itself.

In this month’s issue, we look to the future with all the accuracy of a (speckle-free) laser beam, explore how thermal imaging could be the ‘easter egg’ chocolatiers need to improve performance, and cheer on our growing team as our newest recruits gain their latest integrator qualifications.

Thanks for reading,


Trial news
An 'Easter egg' in plain sight: Challenge and the chocolate factory

Our new solutions development engineer George recently took a trip to a chocolate factory to test out thermal cameras and inspect the melting and cooling temperatures inside the giant chocolate moulds used to create the signature shapes of Easter eggs.

With the holiday fast approaching, the team is looking for ways to increase output - without impacting on their trademark taste or consistency.

Speaking about his (admittedly indulgent) trial, George said: "What impressed me most was the sheer willingness to embrace automation and make radical changes to improve performance and productivity. They shared our passion for innovation; it was such an energising day. I can't wait to go back and see what difference the systems are making."
Product news
Clean, crisp and bright: How speckle-free lasers are improving 3D inspections

Wavelength interference or 'speckle' has been a persistent problem in laser illumination and metrology for over 60 years - severely limiting the accuracy of measurements and contributing to errors in products that simply cannot be calibrated out.

Discover how reduced speckle in the latest Cognex In-Sight kit is improving 3D inspections and giving more accurate measurements...
In the news
Accurate results in under 30 milliseconds

High-speed controls for copper tubing revolutionises manufacturing

A manufacturer of copper tubing turned to us when it needed an automated solution to detecting joints - without slowing or stopping the line. This brief presented us with a real challenge, particularly due to the material, the environment and the sheer speed of the line, which runs up to 130 meters per minute. However, we developed an inspection system that could identify the tell-tale diameter changes in the 'crimpled' area of the joint in under 30 milliseconds. Read the story here in the latest PPMA Machinery Update.
Our News
Costel Pohrib, Bytronic
Introducing Costel - our new project manager

We sat down with Costel Pohrib to discuss career highs, his most teachable failure and why he thinks the world is "moving steadily towards greater automation". Find out what makes him tick in this quick-fire Q&A.
Costel Pohrib, Bytronic
Newest team members on track to become Cognex LPI-approved partners

Members of our team have successfully completed their initial Logistics Partner Integrator (LPI) training with Cognex after an intensive week-long course.

Covering all aspects of mechanical and electrical installation of logistics and software installation, LPI training is vital for our team. George Gentle, solutions development engineer, and Costel Pohrib, project manager, participated in the rigorous industry-leading training on-site, which included tasks such as setting up a dummy logistics project for testing barcodes, both 1D and 2D testing yield and performance to optimise workflow.

Speaking about the experience, George said: "There were tonnes of different software and cameras to set up from scratch - it was a great challenge. Logistics is a big and growing part of the Bytronic business, and I don't think many people realise just how much work actually goes into successful integration."

After a final exam in a few weeks' time, George and Costel will then officially be part of the LPI programme. Good luck, lads.

Not yet a subscriber?
Follow the link below to get our Vision Update sent to your inbox every month

Bytronic Automation Ltd, Innovation Campus, Blackwell, B60 1BL, United Kingdom

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign