Manufacturing robot saves skilled jobs

Robotics and automation offer huge opportunities for firms to improve productivity levels. All too often, smaller firms hold back from investigating their potential fearing that benefits will come with a high price tag. Footprint Tools has shown that need not be the case.

The 150-year-old Sheffield firm has been in the Jewitt family for four generations and had enjoyed huge success during the hey-day of coal and steel. But the low-wage economies in the Far East, the collapse of coal and steel and the 2008 crash brought Footprint Tools to the brink of closure. To fight back they turned to the AMRC.

The result is a robot cell producing their staple product – the humble builder’s line pin. Freeing up two skilled workers for other tasks, the company now fulfils orders three times faster than before – a massive impact on an SME like Footprint Tools.


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