UK automation picks up as flow of European workers slows ahead of Brexit


By David Milliken

REDDITCH, England (Reuters) – At Muller Precision Engineering’s plant in Redditch, south of Birmingham, James Gibbs is in charge of three clattering pieces of machinery older than he is.

His two co-workers – one Polish, the other Hungarian – place semi-finished metal parts on plastic spindles every 20 seconds and hold them between grinders for another 15 seconds, then check their dimensions before dropping them into a tray.

“It’s a very repetitive job,” said Gibbs, 27. “You’ve got to keep your concentration for however many hours you’re on there, so that you don’t misload it.”

By the middle of next year, the work of two of the staff will be done by sensors and robotic arms.

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