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Why manufacturing robots are getting smarter


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Why manufacturing robots are getting smarter. This infographic explores the market forces creating demand for more agile robots and asks what this means for human beings...

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Why manufacturing robots are getting smarter

  1. 1. Agile Automation Why manufacturing robots are getting smarter and what it means for humans An infographic from The use of robots in manufacturing is booming This chart shows the steady growth of robotics shipments worldwide. Annual robot shipments (m) 1992 2013 200 150 100 50 0 Source: IFR Statistical Department Car manufacturing is the most robot-friendly industry The automotive industry bought the most industrial robots in 2013. Industrial robots sales by sector, 2013 80,000 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Pharmaceuticals Food Rubber and Automotive and cosmetics Source: IFR Statistical Department plastics Metal Electrical/ electronics And China is the most voracious market for industrial robots China bought the most robots in 2013, followed by Japan and the US. Industrial robot sales, 2013 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 China Japan United States Republic of Korea Germany Meanwhile, the global consuming class is growing rapidly Global consuming class (billions) 1950 1970 1990 2010 2025 The number of people with disposable income to spend on products will increase by 1.8 billion between 2010 and 2025, thanks to growing wealth in developing economies. Source: McKinsey Global Institute .3 .9 1.2 2.4 4.2 That growing market requires a greater variety of products, with shorter life cycles For example, car manufacturers are producing more models that don’t last as long. Change in number models vs product life cycles, 2002-2011 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Change in number of models Change in product life cylce (months) Source: McKinsey Global Institute ‘Mass customisation’ will help manufacturers compete in global markets The market for customised clothes, manufactured to each customer’s particular needs, is predicted to reach 27.2 billion, or 5% of the global clothing makers, by 2020. Predicted global clothing market, 2020 Customised clothes Other Source: Custom Nation, Anthony Flynn and Emily Flynn Vencat Both of these call for more sophisticated robots So-called "cobots", robots designed to collaborate with humans, allow manufacturers to combine the agility of humans with the speed and reliability of robots. What does this mean for human employment? The International Federation of Robotics believes that for every robot deployed , 3.6 jobs are created to help build, operate and maintain them. With 200 million robots predicted to ship in 2014, that could mean 720 million new jobs around the world. But experts can’t decide what impact robots and AI might have on jobs A recent poll of nearly 2,000 technology experts found that they are split down the middle on the issue. 1,896 experts Yes 48% No 52% Source: Pew Research What impact do you think smarter robots will have on the manufacturing industry? Share your thoughts on the Future Realities LinkedIn group: Sponsored by Source: IFR Statistical Department Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?