The Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre has been appointed a lead auditor by the British Automation and Robot Association – the trade body which aims to promote the use of robotics in British Industry.
The MTC will have lead responsibility for auditing UK robot integrators seeking certification from BARA, and engineers from across the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres will be available to support the scheme. The audit will ensure that UK companies are qualified to integrate robotics into a production line. Certification will demonstrate that they have appropriate skills and procedures following a rigorous audit and on-site checks.
Jeremy Hadall, chief engineer for intelligent automation at the MTC said the appointment was an important step in growing the capability and capacity of UK robotic integrators.
“Over the past decade there has been a three-fold increase in the number of robots sold in the UK, with some analysts predicting that the global market for industrial robots could become a £30 billion industry by 2025. This has prompted the need for an industry benchmark to evaluate integrators’ technical knowledge and safety practices,” he said.
He added, “As things currently stand, anyone can claim to provide systems integration services but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are trained or competent to integrate a robot into a production line. The new audit system will offer end-users peace of mind that the company and integrator they have appointed to carry out the work has been independently verified.”
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.