Dundee firm SP looking for multi-million boost after tying up Cobots distribution

A Dundee-based company has been announced as the first and only Scottish distribution partner of a range of robots in a deal potentially worth £1 million in the first year of trading alone.

Lee Nixon, Andrew Clouston and Roy Henderson. Picture: Contributed
Lee Nixon, Andrew Clouston and Roy Henderson. Picture: Contributed

SP Technology will be the distribution partner of Collaborative robots, from Universal Robots, also known as Cobots.

As a result of the deal, the Tayside firm is rebranding as SP Automation & Robotics while also expanding with the creation of a new division, SP Elements, to spearhead the Cobot offering.

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Director Roy Henderson, who started with the firm in 1986 as its first-ever apprentice and now owns the business with co-director Lee Nixon, said: “Cobots can be adapted and easily programmed to complete an incredibly wide variety of tasks; everything from packaging and assembly to quality inspection and machine tending. Anyone with no previous robot experience can have one operational and functioning out of the box within two to three hours.”

The distribution licence and increased scope of business will see SP Automation & Robotics employing an in-house team of 36, and increase its annual turnover by an estimated 20 per cent.


Sales engineer Andrew Clouston, who has been recruited to drive the SP Elements division, said: “Commercially viable Cobots solve the monotonous tasks business simply can’t staff. They streamline repetitive industrial processes allowing employees to move from repetitive, low-value tasks to higher-value activities that increase productivity and working conditions.

“The SP Elements approach will allow customers, who would normally see the cost prohibitive to embrace automation by integrating cost-effective solutions by themselves. It also allows effective upscaling as the increase in capacity and productivity levels means they can fulfil larger orders and complete more tasks in the same timeframe.”

Nixon added: “The SP Elements division and our new brand brings the SP look up to date with the quality products and services we supply.

“SP means Special Purpose. We’ve been designing and manufacturing bespoke, special purpose automation and robotic systems for over 35 years for an array of industries including medical device, pharmacy, automotive, white goods and food industry for clients across the UK and Europe.

“The name Elements was chosen for the Cobot division as the technology allows clients to automate specific areas of their business while being entirely flexible.”