According to the International Federation of Robotics, manufacturers installed 553,052 industrial robots in 2022, a 5% increase over the record set in 2021. The largest proportion of these were in Asia, particularly in China and Japan. Europe was next, led by France, Germany, and Italy. The U.S. installed 39,576, a 10% increase over the previous year.
One reason for the steep rise in automation is the improvement in the technology. Automation has been the norm in manufacturing for decades, but AI and the Industrial Internet of Things has made an enormous difference in the capacity of the machinery.
Robots can still do repetitive tasks safely 24 hours a day, but now they can also demonstrate new levels of flexibility. With machine learning, robots can be more responsive to the changing needs of manufacturers. That’s a game changer.
The supply chain disruptions of the pandemic and resulting re-shoring, labor shortages, and rising wages have flipped the cost structure. It used to be that the up-front cost of automation seemed so high that it made sense to wait. Now, the long-term increases in productivity make the decision easier.
The coasts of robots are also falling. At this point, a robot can be less expensive than an entry-level human worker over the course of a single year. Robots are also available on a rental basis. It’s just easier to take the plunge.
Not only are people getting more expensive, they’re also more demanding. 25% of young workers now say that they are unhappy at work. Nearly half want to work remotely. Work-life balance is more important to most than loyalty to their employers.
Makes machines more appealing, right?
People are also more comfortable working with robots than they used to be. We’re getting accustomed to dealing with AI and less nervous about having robots in the workplace.
When your robots’ Rexroth motion control systems need service or support, we should be the first ones you call. Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance.