With recent media reports hinting that up to 30 per cent of the UK’s traditional jobs could be replaced by robots by 2030, many leading AI and robotics experts are producing machines that are primarily best at handling jobs which humans find repetitive or dangerous, or which are done in hostile environments.
So rather than Skynet taking over, this heralds a much more collaborative future between man and machine.
That’s certainly the main message from Wolverhampton-based AJ Robotics. While it is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of automation and robotics solutions, it stresses that there will always be a need for a human element to its work – especially in installing, servicing and ensuring that companies get the most from their automated solutions in the long term.
Managing Director Peter Tobin explained that robots’ main benefits are “being able to move quickly and accurately, and handle parts too small for human eyes and fingers without making any mistakes.
“That’s one reason growing numbers of products are designed for robotic assembly from the outset,” he added.
Also, sophisticated technology which robots use to see is increasingly being fitted to them as standard, while when in use, many can sense an unexpected change in the forces they encounter which often signals a problem on an assembly line, and will automatically adapt to take account of this.
AJ Robotics prides itself on dealing with many manufacturers of robotic equipment, which enable it to offer solutions for every type of production environment.
It is very proud to be the only UK distributor of Estun Automation products, which are widely used in the automotive industry, but also in making domestic appliances and construction machinery, and even where working is required across six axes.
But it’s in many more everyday situations where robotics development is starting to make great inroads – and where much of the current research is being concentrated.
“Automation can be highly cost-effective for nearly every size of company,” said Mr Tobin. “And we often see that, when companies can’t compete in efficiency, jobs end up being sent abroad.”
So how do robots benefit jobs and workers, as well as, ultimately, companies’ bottom line?
“They help to create jobs by generating more manufacturing work, they protect workers from the need to carry out repetitive, mundane and dangerous tasks, while also creating more desirable jobs, in fields such as engineering, programming, management and equipment maintenance,” Mr Tobin said.
And ultimately, he added, with fewer people having learned manufacturing skills due to several decades of offshoring, robots are helping to bridge the skills gap.
No matter what skills a business has difficulty in recruiting for, the products offered by AJ Robotics can quite probably offer a tailored, cost-effective automated solution. This is backed up by ready access to a range of parts and refurbished products which can help keep the cost of running any automated systems under tight control.
From its offices in the historic heart of the Midlands’ engineering sector, AJ Robotics covers the whole of the UK, not just this vibrant industrial region. Its manufacturing partners and in-house robotics experts can design, build and fit a system for almost any application in a matter of weeks.
So why not challenge them to find a solution to streamline your manufacturing processes, and equip your business to compete with the best? Contact them on 07773 018930 or [email protected]. Their offices, on Frederick William Street Willenhall, WV13 1NE are open from 7am to 6pm weekdays.