Automation investment likely for three-quarters of Australian manufacturers

Scott Automation & Robotics Pty Limited

Monday, 13 February, 2017


A survey of Australian manufacturing industry groups has found that three-quarters of respondents were looking to invest in automation in the future.

Conducted by Universal Robots, the survey canvassed the views of members of various online groups dedicated to communicating with the Australian manufacturing community, including the Australian Manufacturers Forum, the Australian Furniture Association Industry Forum, the First 500 group of SME business owners, the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council and The AiG Australian Manufacturing LinkedIn group.

Amongst those respondents looking to invest in automation, 57% plan to invest in robotic solutions in the future, while 36% plan to invest in automation via materials handling. A quarter of respondents plan to spend on Internet of Things solutions, while just over one-fifth will invest in logistics.

Universal Robots said its results reinforce recent research from Telsyte, which found that one in three organisations intend to use robotics and 25% of large organisations are already using robotic process automation.

The top reasons given for automating processes include: improving business efficiency, reducing production time, improving quality, reducing staff costs and freeing up staff to work on value-add tasks, as well as to satisfy growing orders.

“In the face of high local labour costs and the need to drive efficiencies, automating processes is now considered essential in order to compete both on a regional and international level,” said Shermine Gotfredsen, general manager, Universal Robots, Southeast Asia & Oceania.

While the vast majority of Australian manufacturers are confident in their business growth and plan to invest in automation, the research also indicated that a lack of funds and information available continue to be a barrier to achieving innovation.

The top five barriers to innovation were identified as a lack of budget, inability to raise funds, lack of knowledge of what products are available, unsure where to start and too busy with day-to-day operations.

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