FANUC opens its doors to UK manufacturers in annual automation showcase


Demonstrating how automation can help manufacturers address the key challenges facing their business today – namely cost pressures, sustainability targets, and labour shortages – FANUC UK will bring together the country’s leading names from the world of robotics and automation for a three-day showcase event at their Coventry HQ this November. Featuring over 30 exhibitors, 20+ speakers, 600+ visitors – PLUS the live final of the WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition – the FANUC Open House has now cemented its place at the heart of the automation calendar.

This year’s event (14-16 November 2023, Ansty Park, Coventry) will comprise a mix of live product demonstrations, engaging panel debates and hands-on robot training, enabling manufacturers to experience the latest automation innovations. Attendees will also learn from peers and colleagues about the difference that automation has made to their operation, such as increasing efficiency, cutting costs and alleviating staff shortages.

Insight from industry influencers

Leading names from the world of manufacturing, engineering and automation will take to the stage across the three days, sharing their knowledge, experience and insight with hundreds of attendees. Influential thought leaders including FANUC UK’s MD Tom Bouchier, Stuart Whitehead of the Jefferson Group, new President & CEO of FANUC EU Marco Ghirardello and Phil Hadfield from Rockwell Automation, as well as leading UK manufacturers, will take part in a series of panel discussions, live debates and presentations on the industry’s most pressing topics.

Day 1 will focus on the future of UK manufacturing, looking at barriers to future growth, the role that robotics and automation can play in boosting productivity, and the latest technology to ease production and labour headaches.

Day 2 is devoted to sustainability, including ways to ease the transition to net zero and innovations to encourage energy efficiency across all facets of the manufacturing supply chain.

Day 3 sees attention turn to education and ways to inspire the next generation of engineers. As well as the LIVE UK final of the WorldSkills Industrial Robotics competition, visitors can also hear first-hand testimonials from current apprentices about engineering as a career path.

“At FANUC, we understand the disparate pressures affecting manufacturers today – from rising energy and material costs to ever-increasing sustainability targets and the difficulties in recruiting both skilled and unskilled labour,” says FANUC UK MD, Tom Bouchier. “By shining a spotlight on these issues and bringing together leading industry names to debate ways to address them, we hope to unite the manufacturing community and advance awareness of the numerous benefits that automation can bring.”

Cutting-edge innovation

Following the morning presentations, each afternoon will be dedicated to live demonstrations, both from FANUC and its partners. As well as a 30-strong exhibition area featuring demonstrations from companies such as YMT Technologies, Cyber-Weld, Nikken and Loop Technology, there will also be numerous FANUC innovations on display, including:

  • A CRX-10iA/L cobot tending a ROBODRILL vertical machining centre on a movable Zimmer trolley, allowing the operator increased access and flexibility.
  • An all-electric ROBOSHOT injection moulding machine tended by an LR-10iA 6-axis robot arm. Highlighting the system’s sustainability credentials, the fully automated solution will display live data showing the amount of energy being used, as well as the cost to run the cell.
  • Plus, the first UK unveiling of the upgraded CRX-25iA cobot, featuring the latest software update which has increased its payload to 30kg!

Visitors will also have the chance to get up and close and personal with FANUC’s cutting edge automation solutions through the free robot training sessions taking place every afternoon.

“The FANUC Open House is a truly unmissable event,” states Stuart Whitehead. “Last year’s Open House was enjoyable, informative and so well organised it should act as a blueprint for all organisations planning similar events. In excess of 600 people attended in 2022 across the three days, and I am reliably informed that even larger crowds are expected to attend this November. I will certainly be among them!”

Inspiring Gen Z engineers

The FANUC UK Open House 2023 will also host the final of the WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition, which aims to develop and support a future talent pipeline for the manufacturing industry. Previous winners will take to the main stage for a Q&A session with the audience, while current FANUC robotics apprentices and three recipients of the Arkwright Scholarship – paid for from the charitable contributions generated at the 2022 Open House – will also be in attendance.

“With labour shortages being one of the most pressing issues for today’s manufacturers, helping to secure a future talent pipeline is a key priority for us here at FANUC,” says Tom Bouchier. “Engaging the next generation into a career in manufacturing, engineering and automation is imperative if we are to remain competitive as a nation, and we are excited to showcase the various ways in which we are working with young people to help bridge the skills gap.”

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