Supported by:

German British Forum


David Swan, CTO, Tharsus

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PRESENTATION: Robot warehouse management: Big efficiencies, new jobs

As we progress toward the uncharted territory of the 4th Industrial revolution, Intra-Logistics and warehouse automation is becoming a prime market for technology disruption. It’s a sector heavily burdened by human error, productivity inefficiencies and a precautionary approach to innovation. Whilst a number of businesses are shaping the future with fully autonomous robotic solutions, the cost-performance pay-back of these machines isn’t there, inhibiting their subsequent adoption by industry. This is the commercial reality of today, leaving the question, how do we get to that vision of the future from where we are now?

Headquartered in Blyth, Northumberland, Tharsus are one of Europe’s fastest growing technology businesses, helping innovative start-ups and FTSE 500’s take advantage of emerging robotics and machine technologies to disrupt, lead and grow their markets.

Tharsus will explore what the progressive journey to fully autonomous robotics looks like, and how they navigate their clients to delivering commercial optimum. Dave Swan will discuss the benefits of sharing a vision of the future whilst building machines today that pay-back now, and how this has a greater impact on operational productivity and the bottom line.


Dave Swan has worked for 10+ years within the Tier 1 and OEM Automotive world at global companies that include Viasystems and Magna Kansaei. From engineering to operation management positions his early career was centered around tackling volume assembly challenges.

In 2007 Dave joined Tharsus Group managing the operations side of the business – supplying outdoor advertising units into the likes of the London Underground and Westfield.

In 2008, as Tharsus repositioned itself as a sub-contract product design and manufacturing business, Dave moved into a CTO role, where he grew the team to include Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and Firmware capabilities. Since then, his teams have been responsible for creating, designing and validating a very diverse portfolio of complex electro-mechanical products that Tharsus manufacture on behalf of our clients, from electric vehicle charging stations and parts washing machines to hydrogen generator, 3D X-Ray Machines – and everything in-between.

In 2014, Dave’s 35 strong multi-disciplinary engineering team embarked on realising their first product in the Robotic and Automation space, and have now manufactured over 300 material handling robots in a series that will run at 000’s per year.

Dave’s passion is driven from the practicalities of getting products and machines out of the minds of inventors and large business stakeholders and into the real world so they can show what they can really do!