The Machinery Interview: Tom Bouchier, FANUC UK

1 min read

FANUC’s automation solutions, machines and CNCs are used across UK manufacturing, helping to drive productivity. Justin Burns visited FANUC UK in Coventry to speak to UK & Ireland managing director Tom Bouchier

Q) What are your thoughts on robotics and automation in UK manufacturing?

Tom: Our main focus now is on working together with others in the industry to grow the market. I am confident that we can keep our 25-30% UK market share, but let’s have 25-30% of a much bigger market. Everybody in UK manufacturing probably knows the four or five main machine tool builders, but not the four or five biggest robotic manufacturers. This needs to change.

At FANUC, we now have the highest enquiry level we have ever had but issues like Covid, Brexit, the conflict in Ukraine, supply chain problems, etc. have impacted sales. The good news is that we are now seeing enquiries from more traditional industries and applications that have not historically been keen to automate.

However, sometimes companies want to start their automation journey by automating the most difficult application, rather than the one which will deliver the quickest payback.Ultimately, this comes down to education. It’s our job to make sure those at board level/C-suite understand about the importance of return on investment (ROI) and the need to automate. I always say, it’s not a matter of whether you can afford to automate, it’s whether you can afford not to.

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