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KUKA Robotics’ Focus on Growth Gathers Momentum, as South Africa Further Strengthens UK Cluster

Further strengthening the UK/IE/IL cluster that sits within KUKA EMEA, managed out of KUKA Robotics, Wednesbury, responsibility for South Africa is now that of this established territory. As such, KUKA are delighted to welcome RobotEngine into their partner network, as Silver system partners.

03 December 2021

KUKA’s tiered system partner program enables KUKA to strengthen the breadth and depth of expertise available to our customers. The network is already well established across both the UK, Ireland and Israel cluster, and incorporates strategic integrator partnerships that bring in-depth knowledge of applications and specialist skills to the benefit of customers across all manufacturing sectors.

Designing and implementing robotic solutions for over 10 years, Durban-based RobotEngine delivers innovative and cost-effective automation across a number of sectors, including F&B, Boat Building, Composite, Automotive Accessories, Automotive, and FMCG, with an emphasis on quality delivery.

Active across Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow, Zambia, Mauritius, East Africa Islands, and South Africa, Robot Engine is perfectly positioned to offer support across a diverse manufacturing dynamic.

“There exists a huge desire for robotics and automation in and around South Africa, in many cases tempered by economies of scale and budget constraints,” says Andre Botha, Managing Director, RobotEngine, adding “Over the past two years there have been significantly encouraging initiatives calling for more robotic integration into industry. The adoption of robotics in South Africa is considerable, but there remains a huge gap between those that want to use robots and those that can afford them”.

A reluctance to invest is leading to inefficiencies across industry in South Africa, primarily owing to labour costs. As such, the tangible value of Automation and Robotics is now been viewed as an investment, rather than a cost. Returns can be measured in throughput, operational quality & efficiency and increased, and more profitable revenues.

Damage to corporate reputation is a key risk factor in South Africa. Robotics and Automation can contribute towards mitigating reputational risk, particularly in the manufacturing, F&B and pharmacy-styled sectors.

Automated solutions are also helping to fill the skills deficit in South Africa. Andre supports this theory: “A large unskilled labor force exists. Clients, therefore, look for turnkey solutions that can narrow the skills gap and increase production without incurring huge costs. At RobotEngine we firmly believe we can enhance the skills deficit, while at the same time offer solutions to maximize productivity and efficiency in organizations struggling with an unskilled labour force”. He continues “Currently there is a significant shortage of skills, including in robotics, across many industries and sectors. This allows for the consideration of better technology, and at the same time offering upskilling opportunities in many unskilled environments”.

Bernard Bagley has been integral to the success of robot sales across the UK and Israel in recent months and shall be instrumental in establishing a strategy for South Africa, aligned with global and localized sales targets. Of RobotEngine’s recent recognition as an official Silver system partner, he said “RobotEngine and KUKA have been working together for many years now and delivered several successful system installations, deploying KUKA Robots and Linear Tracks. Now KUKA Robotics (UK) Ltd are officially responsible for developing the Sales and Service for the South African market, we look forward to working on projects together with Andre and his team”.

Bernard continues “RobotEngine is exceptionally skilled in Robotics and Automation and as such generates constant engagement for services and supplies but has however had to forego many opportunities as such partnerships have not been in place to satisfy customer support expectations. By partnering with KUKA, RobotEngine can entertain a wider reach of customers, whilst capitalizing upon service and maintenance opportunities”.

Looking to the future RobotEngine plans to expand upon its existing services across South Africa, positioning itself as an anchor for automated KUKA-based solutions, countrywide.

Andre Botha concludes “RobotEngine have implemented KUKA robotic solutions for many years; a testament to our commitment to providing quality solutions and maintaining customer loyalty in a cost-effective manner”.


Durban-based RobotEngine joins the KUKA UK cluster network, as its focus expands into the South African market.

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