The World Robotics Report 2016 recently released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) forecasts that compact, user-friendly collaborative robots will become a key driver in the automation market.
Predictions of annual industrial robot sales will increase by minimum 13 percent per year between 2017 and 2019. This will be a ‘breakthrough’ in human/robot collaboration. This breakthrough will allow humans and robots to work side-by-side safely without the usual guarding and fences, whilst in turn increasing production quality and efficiency.
Collaborative Robot market leaders, Universal Robots welcome to report:“As the market leader of the cobot industry, Universal Robots welcomes the report which confirms the validity of our mission: lowering barriers and enabling automation in areas previously considered too complex or costly,” said Chief Commercial Officer of Universal Robots, Daniel Friis.
“Our installed base of more than 10,000 cobots worldwide illustrates the dramatic growth potential of this game-changing automation technology. We enable small and medium-sized enterprises to optimise their competitiveness on the global stage with an industry leading payback period.”
IFR has predicted the automotive, plastics, electronics assembly and machine tool industry to adopt collaborative robots at an increasing rate. Universal Robots sees strong growth in these areas.
“UR robots are now increasingly deployed on the auto assembly line, working hand-in-hand with employees, by relieving them of ergonomically unfavourable tasks. We have recent case studies documenting how cobots quadrupled injection moulding production, and how our new UR3 table-top robot is now a sought-after automation tool for light assembly, such as circuit board handling,” said Friis.
Strong and continued robot growth is forecasted by IFR in Australia and Asia, with suggested rises of 18 percent in robot supplies this year followed by installations at a rise of 15 percent. China is to remain to main growth driver with an expansion of almost 40 percent of the global supply of robot installed by 2019.
“The Asian and APAC regions are a strong focus area for Universal Robots. We opened a Shanghai subsidiary in 2013 and are constantly expanding our distributor network in the regions where customers are increasingly using our cobots to optimise product quality and automate repetitive tasks that many manufacturers have difficulty staffing with manual labour,” said Friis.
According to Friis, the demand for consumer goods across global markets is pushing manufacturers to produce innovative, high-quality products more quickly, consistently, and sustainably around the world.
“To support the growing demand for flexible cobot solutions, Universal Robots recently launched Universal Robots+, anonline showroom for end-effectors, software, peripherals and accessories from the UR ecosystem of 3rd-party developers that are optimised to work flawlessly with UR robots. This allows UR’s integrators, distributors and customers to hit the ground running when completing their next UR robot installation,” said Friis.
Free e-learnimg modules complement Universal Robots+ and are available to all, making up the basic programming and training for Universal Robots. The e-learning modules include adding end effectors, connectiong I/O’s for communication with devices (external) and setting up zones of safety. The e-learning platform is expected to help support Industry 4.0.
“It’s unprecedented in the industry to provide hands-on interactive teaching modules available for free with no licensing required. The Academy offers an instrumental tool in helping us educate the market on how our technology can address key business challenges. As Australia faces widening skills gaps reported across the agricultural, manufacturing and medical technology industries, educating future operators and programmers now to bridge this gap becomes even more important,” said Friis.