Manufacturers are set to see a surge in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning as they push for greater automation and improvements in productivity, efficiency and quality – but many are still facing significant barriers - according to a new report published today by Make UK and Infor.
Manufacturing and Automation: Opening the Gates for Productive and Efficient Growth tells us that more than half of companies surveyed are increasing their investment in these particular technologies, with nearly ¾ spending more broadly on automation across a range of technologies and functions, from manufacturing processes to product design and development.
However, manufacturers are citing a number of barriers which threaten to scupper their efforts to adopt automation, with almost half (46%) pointing to a lack of technical skills as one issue. Others include integration and data challenges (41%), high costs (38%) and negative workplace culture (36%). To add insult to injury, a majority of firms also believe the UK is failing to keep up with its competitors.
In order to combat these issues and increase the UK’s competitiveness, Make UK has outlined a number of policy recommendations, including a nationwide roll-out of the ‘Made Smarter’ scheme and expanding its remit to include industrial decarbonisation as the industry looks to improve energy efficiency and meet net zero targets.
There are also proposals around R&D tax credits, SME engagement and expensing capital allowances – all of which can be read in full in our report.