The new World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) showed a record of about 21,700 industrial robots operating in factories of the United Kingdom – an increase of 5%.

Sales of new robots slowed with 2,000 units shipped in 2019 – 16% less compared to 2018.

"The United Kingdom has a surprisingly low robot stock for a western European country in the manufacturing industry," said Milton Guerry, president of the IFR. "Though the UK's operational stock hits a new record, other European countries like France, Italy and Germany have between two times and even 10 times the stock in operation. The automotive and the general industry need to invest in automation technology to keep up with international competition."

The automotive industry is by far the largest user of industrial robots in the UK. At the end of 2019, this industry accounted for 52% of the total operational stock of robots (11,000 units).

With 13% of the operational stock, the plastics and chemical industry was the second largest user (2,710).

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By GlobalData