In terms of installment of industrial robots, Germany had the highest number among European countries. There were 71 robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry in 2016. In 2018, an estimated 2,200 industrial robots are expected to be shipped to the UK, with figures forecast to increase in the following years.
Sales figures for various industrial machinery in the UK have been fluctuating. Revenue generated from sales of food, beverage and tobacco processing machinery had stayed relatively constant between 2010 and 2017, before figures spiked in 2018. By comparison, the sales value of lifting and handling equipment had seen the largest net increase to roughly 3.1 billion British pounds in 2018.
Regarding manufacturers of industrial robots, Kuka Robotics UK recorded an annual turnover of 10.2 million British pounds in 2018, which was the third consecutive year that figures increased. Another robotics supplier, ABB UK made 642.4 million British pounds that same year in turnover.
According to several surveys on the subject, the growth in robot usage and automation for manufacturing processes would impact a large share of workers. Among European countries, Slovakia had the largest share of workers whose jobs would be of potential high risk of automation by 2030. Of UK workers, 30 percent were estimated to be affected. A 2018 study by the OECD found that the median job in England and Northern Ireland had a 42 percent chance of becoming automated.
However, a survey from 2019 found that 75 percent of UK citizens did not believe that their job would be at risk of being taken by a machine in the next 10 years.