Automate UK’s 2024 Industry Report Highlights


Challenges and Growth Prospects

Automate UK has published a brand new report highlighting key insights, challenges and opportunities for the automation sector in 2024. The report provides an insightful overview of recent and expected industry developments based on the survey of Automate UK members, wider industry experts, and automation technology end users. It points towards continued innovation and collaboration, with Automate UK taking a leading role in supporting growth amidst the challenges.

Reflecting on the Challenges

As the report reveals, 2023 saw the continuation and worsening of various challenges that emerged during the pandemic. 73% of end users reported supply chain issues as having the biggest impact, with the flow of vital components being disrupted and costs driven up. Contributing factors have included the rise of geopolitical tensions, cyber-security breaches, and the lack of skilled and unskilled labour following Brexit.

81% of the survey respondents cited automation as their main challenge for 2023. Here the customisation of products, low availability of skilled labour, and difficulty in keeping pace with technological advancements posed particular challenges. The expected cost of investment has been reported as a major hurdle to the adoption of automation among small and medium-sized businesses.

Automation Outlook

Automate UK’s report has pointed to continued industry growth, with almost 80% of the survey respondents sharing such confidence. Aiming to ensure that automation technology is at the heart of a thriving manufacturing sector, the leading trade association has promised to foster innovation and collaboration through initiatives such as the UK Automation Forum and Automate BEST. 2024 is widely expected to be a positive year for the automation sector, with 67% of respondents saying that they feel optimistic or very optimistic about the coming months. Such confidence is likely to make for increased capital expenditure, AI technology integration, and transformative growth.

“As well as demonstrating the desire of end-user companies for the greater adoption of automation, this report also sets out some of the perceived challenges and barriers to success,”

says Peter Williamson, CEO of Automate UK. “By identifying these challenges, we are helping our members to work more collaboratively with their customers to break down these perceived barriers for mutual benefit.”

The full report is available to download


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