In terms of installment of industrial robots, the United Kingdom had one of the lower numbers among European countries. There were 71 robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry in 2016. In 2018, an estimated 2000 industrial robots 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 2016, seeing only a marginal net decrease in those years. By comparison, the sales value of lifting and handling equipment had seen the largest net increase, though figures had shrunk in the past two years recorded, amounting to roughly 2.37 billion British pounds in 2016.
Regarding manufacturers of industrial robots, Kuka Robotics UK recorded an annual turnover of 9.1 million British pounds in 2017, which was an increase compared to the previous years. Another robotics supplier, ABB UK had made 539.8 million British pounds that same year in turnover. While Fanuc UK had been able to more than double their annual turnover between 2012 and 2017.
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 different survey from the same year saw that nearly 60 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.