The official opening of Omron’s new Robotic Innovation Lab at the firm’s UK headquarters in Milton Keynes took place this week.
The lab, which represents an investment of £600,000 with a creation of five new jobs, is set to demonstrate how robots can be a boon to the UK manufacturing industry, as well as providing customers with a realistic overview of how robots can enhance their own individual applications. The event marked Omron’s recent commitment to renew the lease on their Fox Milne based facility for a further 10 years.
While officially opening the lab on Wednesday, the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Martin Petchey said: “Milton Keynes is right in the centre of the Oxford to Cambridge arc and we are all striving to be at the heart of Britain’s silicon valley – we have the transport catapult based here and are well advanced on proposals for a new city based university that will centre on the type of technology and issues that Omron is addressing.
"Our aim is to be a smart city, so it’s great to celebrate this well established local business which is making AI technology accessible to all. Omron’s new lab will help local businesses and residents by providing employment and training opportunities, and above all help Milton Keynes to become a leading city in the field of Artificial Intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution.”
Manufacturers across the UK are enthusiastic about the potential of robots to increase productivity and as a solution to the current industry-wide labour shortage. But, at the same time, they are reluctant to make a substantial initial capital investment without assurance that it will provide a definite ROI for their own unique application.
The Omron Robotic Innovation Lab provides customers with a ‘proof-of-concept’ demonstration that will replicate their application in every conceivable detail before they make any financial commitment.
On visiting the new facility, Milton Keynes North MP, Mark Lancaster said “The opening of Omron’s new lab highlights that yet another international company recognises Milton Keynes as an innovative and forward-thinking place to do business. The creation of five new jobs in the process is always good news and I congratulate the team for their contribution to develop the latest robotics and automation technologies.”
Dan Rossek, marketing manager at Omron UK added: “Many of the manufacturers that we meet see robots as the ideal solution to the problems they are currently facing, such as difficulties in recruiting qualified, experienced personnel.
"The new Robotic Innovation Lab provides a platform that can be quickly configured to give an accurate representation of the impact that robots will actually have on the customer’s own production line, as well as allowing us to demonstrate how our other products can be quickly integrated to increase the benefits provided by the robots.”