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Government provides £600,000 to help UK manufacturers to automate
Published:  19 September, 2011

A programme aimed at encouraging the uptake of automation among UK manufacturers is under way, backed by £600,000 of Government funding. The Automating Manufacturing programme, managed by the British Automation and Robot Association (Bara), will offer impartial advice to help manufacturers to implement automation systems.

The main aim of the programme is to help make UK manufacturers more competitive by boosting their productivity and profitability, and reducing their waste. It is targeted mainly at small-to-medium-sized companies, but larger companies with limited expertise in automation will also be eligible.

The programme, which runs until March 2013, follows recommendations made last year in the Application of Automation in UK Manufacturing study.

“If UK manufacturing is to fulfil its potential of becoming a significant force in global markets,” says Bara president, Mike Wilson, “then automation needs to be at its very heart. The Automating Manufacturing programme will go a long way to aid this.”

Bara has appointed independent automation advisers to support manufacturers in two phases. First, there will be a strategic review of their manufacturing operations, including an audit to identify opportunities to improve production through automation. In the second stage, a more detailed intervention will develop the audit`s findings, providing the manufacturer with the information needed to plan and implement an automation system.

To complement the programme, Bara is organising a series of automation roadshows at automation user sites. These events, planned for November 2011, will allow companies considering adopting automation technologies to see the latest technologies in use, and to learn from existing users’ experience.

Companies interested in joining the programme can apply via a dedicated Web site which will also provide case studies and carry details of forthcoming automation events.
♦  The Automating Manufacturing programme will have stand at the PPMA Show at the Birmingham NEC from 27–29 September, 2011. There will be presentations on the programme at the show’s Manufacturing Forum and at the Interplas plastics exhibition which runs alongside PPMA.

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