The new scheme ensures businesses can deploy collaborative robots now and spread the cost across a 36-month period to address labour shortages, improve output and make their operations more competitive. Companies can benefit from automation now and start repayments in 2022, in many cases funding the monthly payments from already realised productivity gains.

The leasing scheme is part of a number of initiatives the company is rolling out during SME automation month including; a dedicated webinar to address any queries or concerns UK SMEs may have about introducing automation to their organisations, as well as a series of face-to-face road shows across the country.

Mark Gray, Country Manager – UK & Ireland, Universal Robots, said: “We’re on a mission to ensure companies of all sizes can reach their full potential and this kind of leasing scheme will bring the benefits of automation and cobots to many more organisations. I believe that improving the productivity of the UK SME manufacturing sector will have a major impact on the overfall UK economy.”

At the end of the leasing agreement, it will be possible for the company to either buy the cobot outright at a reduced cost, upgrade to more recent technology, renew the agreement or simply return the rented cobot.

The scheme is backed by DLL, a 100% subsidiary of Rabobank. For more than 50 years, DLL has been providing asset financing solutions to manufacturers, dealers and distributors of hardware in more than 30 countries. It boasts more than 30 billion euros in assets.