Robotics is already making waves in the workplace. Non-automotive industries are ordering more robots than automotive customers, and the demand for these robots is increasing. Automation is helping many industries solve logistical and staffing challenges. It is also replacing humans in many jobs that are dangerous, dirty, or boring.
Non-automotive customers ordered more robots than automotive customers
The demand for robots in manufacturing environments continues to increase, with non-automotive customers ordering more in the first quarter of 2022 than automotive customers. These customers include automotive component manufacturers and food and beverage producers. Demand is increasing due to supply chain disruptions and an unstable workforce, and major robotic manufacturers have seen the trend. For example, some car makers have announced investments to equip their factories with advanced battery production. In fact, the U.S. ranks second in the world in terms of car production.
Automotive customers have been the biggest adopters of robots in the early decades, but non-automotive customers have now outstripped them in the first quarter of 2022. Non-automotive customers ordered 6,122 units compared to 5,476 units for automotive-related customers in the first quarter of 2022. This growth was driven largely by strong Q4 sales in North America, which accounted for almost half of the total. Other industries saw significant growth, including semiconductor and photonics, consumer goods, and life sciences/pharma/biomed.
North American industry is embracing automation at a record pace. According to the Association for Advancing Automation, North American companies ordered 11,595 industrial robots in the first quarter of 2022, a 43% increase over the same period last year.
Co-bots are taking over boring, dangerous, or dirty jobs
In many industries, dirty and boring jobs are being replaced by robots. Some of the jobs are very dangerous or unsanitary, and they expose workers to many health hazards. Companies are turning these tasks over to machines to increase productivity and protect humans. As a result, more companies are outsourcing these tasks to robots.
Robots can do jobs humans cannot do, and they are also more cost-effective. For example, humans put their lives at risk by diving into deep seas or fighting fires, but robots have the hardware and software necessary to survive in such extreme conditions. Industrial companies are implementing robotic systems into their workplaces to protect human workers and free up resources for more productive activities.
One of the industries that are poised to benefit most from robotics is the healthcare industry. Robotic systems will help doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals perform more complex and precise tasks. For instance, robotic arms and cameras will make it easier for doctors and nurses to see and track patients' health. A robotic arm can also carry supplies and lab samples, easing the burden on the medical staff.
Healthcare robotics has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. Its use in surgery will reduce the risk of infection, lead to shorter hospital stays, and reduce blood loss and transfusions. Additionally, it will improve recovery time. The cost of healthcare robots will also remain a major barrier, so companies must be prepared to invest in them.
Healthcare robots will be able to take over some of the human functions that make it difficult to care for the elderly and the sick. They can serve as personal assistants that will engage with patients, remind them of medication, and offer simple health checks. These robots will also be capable of communicating with human healthcare workers in case of an emergency.
Technological advances and increased consumer demands are driving the use of robots and automation in manufacturing. The rise of these technologies will continue to be a major factor for businesses. In addition to consumer packaged goods, the rise of automated robotics will also impact electronics, electric vehicles, and medical equipment. Embracing this technology will allow companies to respond quickly to changing market demands.
Automation has already begun to impact manufacturing processes, but in the next few years, the adoption of robotics is expected to accelerate. The Internet of Things (IoT) will help manufacturers improve productivity, respond to labor shortages, and adapt operations to match consumer demand. Today, many digital manufacturing concepts have been extensively tested in manufacturing facilities, making them ready for commercial adoption. The versatility and compatibility of these technologies will help manufacturers adapt to the growing demand for customized products.
While there are many benefits of using robots in manufacturing, companies must be aware of their potential impact on their employees. The new workforce could be more qualified and pay more, but companies will need to train employees to manage them. Ultimately, this could lead to a reduction in the number of employees required for the same work, higher employee satisfaction, and improved products.
While it’s still unclear exactly how automation will impact different industries, we can get a glimpse into which sectors are turning to robots and technology for help. As technology advances, it’s likely that even more industries will begin to rely on robotics for tasks that can be automated.