Future Robotics, the UK’s only independent industrial robotics conference, drew praise from delegates and exhibitors alike following its successful debut on Tuesday 13 November in The Slate at Warwick University.

Launched earlier this year by Datateam Business Media, the event immediately garnered interest thanks to its unique approach to the topic of automation in the landscape of the UK manufacturing industry.

Backed by Automation magazine and the respected portfolio of Connecting Industry publications as leverage, the conference provided an unbiased, informative and exciting experience for its delegates – featuring a full CPD accredited seminar programme in addition to an exhibition and interactive demonstration area.

Ensuring the UK manufacturing remains competitive on a global scale is imperative but requires collaborative efforts, as noted by Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington, during the conference’s opening speech: “The industry faces increasing global competition, skilled and unskilled labour shortages and the uncertainty that Brexit may bring, it’s vital that UK manufacturers examine all the options available to them. It’s therefore good to see events, such as today’s Future Robotics conference and exhibition, addressing many of the issues and concerns that manufacturers may have.”

Delegates commended the inaugural event for providing a platform for the answers to imperative questions and an opportunity to explore the latest products and solutions from a stellar line-up of industry names. Visitors noted that it was “superb to have such a focused event” and many made particular reference to the conference’s “engaging speakers” and the collective enthusiasm of all in attendance.

The event attracted a range of delegates from both SMEs and large businesses, some of which have already implemented robotics and saw the conference as an opportunity to hone their existing processes. One such delegate noted that the industry in which they work is quite confined, so an event that featured a number of leading suppliers proved a lucrative opportunity for them to get a concise overview of what is happening in the automation industry.

Other visitors came from companies that had not yet invested in automated processes also found the event to be highly beneficial. Many noted that the combination of both a seminar programme and exhibition left them feeling confident about taking their next step, with “a good feel on what’s happening and what the latest technologies are”.

Others cited that the conference gave them “direction as to where the answers and services [they] need can be found” and would now be looking to implement robotics.

Exhibitors also enjoyed a productive day, with many commenting on the positive atmosphere and the “quality leads” that they had accrued throughout the conference.

Neil Sandhu, product manager for imaging, distance and ranging solutions at headline sponsor SICK UK, comments: “The event was fantastic. I think a lot of people came here with the intention of learning about what the possibilities are, not only now but in the future, with regards to robotics and automation.”

“I think a lot of people found it surprising that technology has moved on so much that you don’t need to be any sort of serious programming or software expert to get these solutions working,” Neil continues. “It’s very clear that people attending will now go and see how they can utilise and get robotics and automation up and running in their environments. It’s given everyone a positive message to go away with.”

Following the success of the launch event, event director Callum Blackwell notes that preparations have begun already for the 2019 edition of Future Robotics. Blackwell says: “There’s been an incredible response from our exhibitors and visitors and it’s clear that there is strong industry demand for independent events like these. Using the feedback that we have received, we will continue to grow and develop Future Robotics alongside the thriving industry that it serves with the continued support of our incredible sponsors and supporters.”

Future Robotics received the support of headline sponsor SICK, PILZ, SMC, Universal Robots, B&R Automation, Mouser Electronics and Servo Components.

For more information on Future Robotics and how to get involved with forthcoming events, visit www.futurerobotics.co.uk.