The robots are coming! Free event to help SME manufacturers get the most out of robotics

As manufacturing comes under increasing pressure from transient labour, intense competition and increasing demand for products, the Smart Manufacturing Alliance has teamed up with robotics specialists, KUKA, to run a free event on 17th March to help SME manufacturers take their first steps towards process automation, and getting the most out of robotics once they’re in place.

Running 2.00pm – 5.00pm at The Epicentre, at Haverhill Research Park near Cambridge, manufacturers can see how the robots work, and accompanying technologies that can boost productivity, safety and quality such as KUKA SIM – a virtual reality kit that simulates programming offline so staff can test out new processes before it goes onto the factory floor.

KUKA will share advice to help manufacturers adopt new technologies;

  • what types of robot to use and where to use them;
  • how to de-risk
  • using simulations to pre-empt issues on the factory floor
  • how to build ROI cases to secure investment and buy-in across the business

The event is being run through the ACMI 4.0 programme, a £1.2 million EU funded programme that aims to help SME manufacturers integrate Industry 4.0 technologies like robotics and process automation more effectively, through:

  • A £300,000 capital grants programme to support the purchase of new equipment
  • 12 hours of consultancy free of charge to identify where and how Industry 4.0 technologies could have the greatest impact on operations, and how the business could optimise any technologies already in place

Bob Hart, Programme Director, at the Smart Manufacturing Alliance, said, “For SME manufacturers to stay competitive, it’s a case of ‘when’, not ‘if’, they adopt Industry 4.0 technologies like robotics and process automation.

“These technologies can address a whole host of challenges, but the first step towards digitisation can be difficult, and then once the tech is in place, how do you know you’re getting the most value from it? We’re really pleased to be working with KUKA on this event who, with their partners, can bring to life the potential that robotics can unlock for SME manufacturers.”

Michael Payne, Food & Beverage Sector Manager for KUKA, said, “Robotics have a critical place within industry and there’s a huge volume of products to choose from. We want attendees to come away with a better understanding of what types of robots are appropriate for which operations, and demonstrate the real impact that has been achieved in other businesses.

“We’ve got a lot of experience supporting ROI cases and we hope we can help our attendees get their businesses on board with digitisation – or more of it – and get full value from them.”

Find out more about ACMI 4.0 here >>

Places can be booked free of charge online at: