Conference Programme* 

Tuesday 13 November 2018 – The Slate, Warwick University

Conference Programme* 

Tuesday 13 November 2018 – The Slate, Warwick University






Welcome & opening remarks


Morning Keynote The Road to Smart Manufacturing – Developments in Robot Automation

The UK has not implemented robot systems at the same pace as most industrialised nations. The specific challenges faced in UK manufacturing are reviewed and the opportunities and drivers, both in terms of technology and business environment, are discussed. The presentation concludes with the benefits of increased robot deployment and what is required to achieved this.

Mike Wilson, BARA (British Automation & Robot Association)

Mike Wilson has over 35 years of experience in the application of automation to manufacturing across a broad range of industry sectors throughout Europe, Asia and America. He is widely recognised as one of the leading authorities on the application of industrial robot systems in the UK.

Mike is Business Development Manager for ABB Robotics leading the drive to increase the use of robots across UK manufacturing.  In addition, he is Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association, Director of the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association and Board member of the Engineering and Machinery Alliance. He has previously been Chairman of the International Federation of Robotics from 2000 to 2003. His book “Implementation of Robot Systems” was published in 2014.


Is your business ready for automation technology?

“Automation” refers to the variety of ways technology can be employed to make a process or task simpler (quicker, better) by reducing the number of steps or actions required by the user. Often this can mean taking many activities out of the hands of consumers, and turning them over to “the machines”. Understandably, this sometimes leads to resistance and even fear.

To put the potential of automation technology to best use, it is not sufficient just to be able to deploy the latest available tools and techniques – organisations must also properly consider their employees, their customers, and the benefits they expect to realise.

Daren Ward, Reply

Daren is an Executive Partner at Reply, helping clients in the retail sector deliver technology driven innovation that increases efficiency and develops integrated, end to end positive change. Daren has worked with many major European retailers in a multitude sectors.


Industry 5.0, flexible automation and cobots

The mass customization described and enabled by what we know as Industry 4.0 will not be enough for today’s consumers or manufacturing workers. Workers want meaningful jobs and consumers want more than standardised products. They want mass personalisation, which can only be had when the human touch returns to manufacturing. This is what we call Industry 5.0 and which is enabled through flexible automation and the use of collaborative robots (cobots). Collaborative robots are essentially very powerful tools that give workers or “operators” superhuman powers in terms of speed and accuracy.

Per Kloster Poulsen, Universal Robots

Per Kloster Poulsen joined Universal Robots in 2015 as Regional Sales Director of Northern Europe. He is responsible for all of Scandinavia, UK, Ireland and Scotland and has more than 20 years of sales experience in different industries with focus on “new” automation. Today, he collaborates with partners to secure continued sales growth for Universal Robots through constant messaging to build up this new paradigm – Cobots. He wants to simplify the dialogue and focus on selling robots as the useful tool they really are.


Coffee break & exhibition


Why invest in robotic automation and which solution to choose?

This presentation will look at some of the fears and myths that prevent SMEs from choosing to automate their production, then break them down to show that automating a production environment is just as possible for an SME as it is for a large company operating on a mass production scale.

The various types of automation and robotics solutions that are available to SMEs will be explored, as well as how to choose the correct solutions for each application. The seminar will also look at whether organisations can look to purchase and implement the equipment themselves, and when they should seek the services of a dedicated machine builder or system integrator.

Peter Williamson, RARUK Automation Limited

An experienced Chartered Director, Peter is managing director of R A Rodriguez (UK) Limited (since 2008) and RARUK Automation Limited (since 2015). Since joining the organisation in 2001, Peter has worked closely with end users from SMEs to large multinationals to provide automation solutions to their production facilities, either directly or in close cooperation with machine builders/system integrators.


Before you buy a CoBot: The argument for industrial robots

Of the total number of robots sold before 2025, 34 per cent will be collaborative. However, collaborative robots only represented three per cent of all robots sold in 2016.

For the last few years, collaborative robots have been billed as the latest technology to reshape manufacturing. However, there are doubts as to whether this technology is fast, accurate and reliable enough to keep pace with modern manufacturing.

Dervish Ibrahim of TM Robotics explains why you shouldn’t abandon 6-axis, SCARA and Cartesian robots just yet.

Dervish Ibrahim, TM Robotics

Dervish Ibrahim is the international sales manager for TM Robotics, and he has over 30 years’ experience in technical sales, with 18 years of his career spent managing sales teams.

Dervish is an integral member of the TMR team of industrial robot experts, supporting the business’ extensive network of Global Partners throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and Russia with an emphasis on sales, customer service and technical support.

With a strong background in mechanical and electrical engineering and an excellent reputation in the industrial technology world, Dervish is well placed to develop Toshiba Machine’s customers compete in the world of industrial automation


Future technology and the skills gap

Successfully implementing robotic automation in the Smart Factory of the future requires a multidisciplinary engineering skill set, which is currently in short supply.  The content of traditional engineering courses and training modules is often too narrow and is inappropriate to meet the future needs of industry. 

With the aid of applications examples, this presentation will explain how innovative automation solutions typically require the application of a multidisciplinary approach.  The greatest benefits may be derived from correctly applying a fusion of complementary technologies, for example, utilising robotics, vision systems, AI and machine learning together in a problem-oriented manner.

Addressing this multidisciplinary skills gap is vital, both in the education of young people and for the enhancement of skills in the existing workforce.

Professor Rob Harrison, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)

Robert Harrison is Professor of Automation Systems at WMG.

Professor Harrison joined WMG from Loughborough University where he was Professor of Automation Systems with a research and teaching focus in the areas of systems engineering and industrial automation. Professor Harrison was the founder member of the Manufacturing Systems Integration Research Institute at Loughborough and headed the Automation Systems Group, a team of around 15 researchers undertaking internationally leading research into a new generation of control systems and associated lifecycle support tools for manufacturing automation.

Professor Harrison is the author of around 150 peer-reviewed international journal and conference papers and gives frequent national and international presentations in academic and commercial contexts.


Lunch & exhibition


Real-time 3D Robot Vision using 3D Stereo Vision

Presenting innovations in 3D Stereo Vision, the talk will be built around three innovative applications:

  • 3D Engine Block Picking
  • 3D Food Pouch Picking
  • Fish Killing in a Salmon SlaughterHouse

Paul Wilson, Scorpion Vision Ltd

Paul Wilson is managing director of Scorpion Vision Ltd, the UK company of Tordivel Group, with market leading 3D robot vision technology. The company has developed significant expertise in the provision of powerful and complex robot vision systems and has been delivering them across many sectors, including; agricultural, automotive, packaging and logistics and food production.

Paul currently holds the position of Chair of the United Kingdom Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA).


Seeing is believing… Robots with a vision

An insight into how machine vision technologies, which themselves are varied, are now being utilised as a vital part of robotics solutions within automation and industry.

Looking into how advancements from both robotics and machine vision have enabled easier integration, communication and deployment in today’s demanding and evolving environments.

Neil Sandhu, SICK UK

SICK UK Product Manager for Imaging, Distance and Ranging solutions, has been in the automation industry for over 20 years. Graduating in structural engineering, Neil previously worked within the temperature process control and vision based infra-red temperature monitoring and thermal imaging industries. Neil is an expert in all aspects of 2D and 3D vision for Vision and Automation markets across all industries.


How to make a robot application safe

There are no safe robots, there are only safe robot applications.

The closer man and machine work together, the more efficient work practices become. However, safe interaction between human and robot increasingly demands new technologies and solutions. Also, the demands on safety increase the closer human and machine get to each other.  To verify the required safety level, the entire safety function must be considered – from the sensor to the logic and beyond to the actuator. Safe robot applications can only be guaranteed when all these factors interact in a co-ordinated manner.

David Collier will look at the basic aspects of robot safety with an emphasis on human-robot-collaboration (HRC).  He will highlight the key requirements of standards such as EN ISO 10218-2 and ISO/TS 15066 and will finally give an overview of risk assessments and safeguarding of robots and robot systems.


David Collier, Pilz Automation Technology

David is a TŰV Certified Machinery Safety Expert with over 25 years of experience in industrial automation.  With Pilz – a leading supplier of machinery safety products, consultancy, engineering and training – he has accumulated experience in a wide variety of industries and applications, including robot and HRC cells.


A smart grasping future for robotic applications

Smart Grasping and Dexterous Manipulation are much needed technologies for the success of robotic applications within the manufacturing industry. We provide an insight into market demand and current manufacturing projects underway. This is followed by a deeper dive into the challenges involved within grasping and manipulation, the route we’ve taken to help us create advanced robotics and its smart capabilities along with how this can be deployed within the field to increase productivity.

Rich Walker, Shadow Robot Company

Rich Walker is Managing Director at the Shadow Robot Company, the leading experts in robotic grasping and manipulation and well-known for their Shadow Dexterous Hand. Rich has been involved with Shadow since he was a teen, turning a group of robot enthusiasts to a company of people passionate about building robots to help solve real-world problems.


Questions, networking & exhibition

*Conference agenda subject to change