The global market for cobots is expected to grow by more than 40 per cent per year and be worth over £3billion by 2020. The UK’s leading supplier, Reeco Automation, has already doubled the number of staff employed at its Mid-Wales headquarters in the last year and is planning further recruitment over the coming months.
Reeco, which employs eight people at its base in Caersws, has secured a number of high-profile customers including Ford, Rolls Royce, Honeywell and, most recently, Unilever.
The company is a turnkey solutions provider for collaborative robots – known as ‘cobots’ – integrating technology on to production lines with the aim of complementing the work of humans, bringing about a step change in speed of production, efficiency and safety.
Reeco was founded in August 2016 by Managing Director Llewelyn Rees and is the leading integrator of cobots in the UK.
Reeco has formed a successful working relationship with Universal Robots, the world’s leading manufacturer of cobots. In total, over 27,000 Universal cobots are used in several thousand production environments across the globe every day.
Before setting up Reeco, Llewelyn spent 15 years working with industrial robots before switching his attention to cobots. Cobots were first launched five years ago and were created specifically to work alongside as co-workers where an industrial robot is not suitable.
“We are experiencing rapid growth as more and more organisations are appreciating the way in which cobots can complement their human workforce – transforming the way they do things.
“While much of our work has been with large multinationals, we are also partnering with ambitious SMEs which are harnessing increasing automation into their production processes.
“Cobots are helping to accelerate business growth in companies of all sizes and across many different sectors.”
Reeco provides customers with eight different cobot solutions including screw and bolt fixing, pick and place, riveting, dispensing, polishing, electronics and gluing.
The company also has a strong focus on safety working with clients to develop and implement safety strategies to ensure compliant cobot application.
By using cobots to carry out a range of tasks, employees can be freed up to work on more important tasks requiring human intervention.
Cobots allow operators and robot to work together without the need for safety fencing and expensive guarding, all regulated to ISO 13849-1. The cobots generally have a payback within 12 months dependent on the application.
“Customers like the fact that we are a full turnkey solutions and safety provider. We have had a year of strong growth and 2019 has begun well. Alongside growth in the UK, we are looking at international expansion and will have a need to recruit the best possible cobot engineering talent as well as people for a range of other roles.”