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Industrial machinery and automation in the UK - statistics & facts

In the past decades, the establishment of automation procedures has had a great impact on the productivity of manufacturing industries. This trend is set to continue in the next couple of years, with the global market size of industrial robotics forecast to almost double in size by 2028. In the past year alone, worldwide sales of industrial robots reached 384,000 units. This was nearly four times the amount sold in 2004. In terms of installment of industrial robots, Germany had the highest number among European countries. In 2020, some 2,200 industrial robots were shipped to the UK.

Industrial machinery sales in the UK

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 3.2 billion British pounds in 2019.

Industrial robots manufacturers

Regarding manufacturers of industrial robots, Kuka Robotics UK recorded an annual turnover of over 13.3 million British pounds in 2019, which was the fourth consecutive year that figures increased. Another robotics supplier, ABB UK made 394.4 million British pounds in turnover in 2020.

Will robots take our jobs?

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. 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.

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Industrial machinery and automation in the UK".


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