Kawasaki Robotics is a leading manufacturer of industrial robots, with over 2,600 robots installed in the UK. Sales Manager Ian Hensman has been at Kawasaki for over 12 years, with a demonstrated history of working in the industrial automation industry. He is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Kawasaki respond?
The automotive sector will continue to have a big say in the development of new materials – ever lighter and more efficient cars will remain vital and plastics will be at the forefront of this quest. Kawasaki Robotics intends to keep developing equipment for use by moulders, mixers and processors because improved productivity is essential for all.
Concurrently, our own design teams at Kawasaki Heavy Industries group will continue to embrace new and emergent materials in its own manufactured product portfolio, including robots, aerospace equipment, mass transit machinery and motorcycles.
How has Kawasaki developed during your tenure?
Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd has doubled its turnover in just 6 years. We now have more engineering, simulation, design and installation staff than ever before and we’re working with a record number of different integrators too. The release of new models continues to stimulate interest: and robots sales indicate that by listening carefully to customers, understanding their needs and then delivering sensibly-costed solutions our business will continue to grow.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Hard work, dedication, enthusiasm for genuinely outstanding products and a very understanding and supporting wife! Working with a dedicated and committed team of engineers to whom robotics is a passion makes my life so much easier. We share both commitment and expertise and strive to deliver superb customer support and satisfaction.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Coming from an electrical engineering background and going into Sales has been a great challenge, made slightly easier because I worked on robotic systems for over 12 years before venturing into sales and the sales management. I sometimes sit back and think “how did you end up here” and on really bad days “Why”. Thankfully the bad days are few and far between.
What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?
Don’t be afraid of a challenge, it is an opportunity for success. This is something that I have found out over the years. You stand still if you are not prepared to try something different and push the boundaries of your knowledge.
The only advice I would add is to work hard, enjoy what you do and treat others as you would expect to be treated yourself.
What hidden talents do you have?
At one point, as a younger man, I believed I threatened David Beckham’s place on the football pitch. Regrettably, it appears that the only person who thought this was me, so robotics it was….
I have become a hacker around a golf course which gives me great pleasure although it isn’t necessarily shared by those I am on the course with.
My talent I feel is to listen to sound advice from others and then make my own decisions based on what I have heard together with what I have learned from my own experiences.