Robotic Automation Pivotal in Powering Manufacturers during Economic Downturn

7:04:48 PM | 14/5/2020

Universal Robots, Denmark-based collaborative robots (cobots) technology market leader, today urged Vietnam manufacturers to accelerate the adoption of robotic automation in order to remain competitive and efficient ahead of tough economic times.

                                                                       

With volatile market conditions and constant disruption, leveraging automation to optimise production is a constant challenge. A new class of robots, dubbed “collaborative robots” aims to bridge the gap between fully-manual assembly and fully-automated manufacturing lines. Universal Robots highlights that cobots could potentially improve productivity for Vietnam’s manufacturing sector by up to 30 percent.

As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Vietnam is fast becoming a competitive industrial player. With government pushing forward for Science and Technology Development and with priorities in industrial 4.0 in its 2011-2020 Strategy, Vietnam is set for vibrant growth in the manufacturing industry,” said Darrell Adams, Universal Robots’ Head of Southeast Asia & Oceania. “Cobots fit snugly into the Vietnam market, where humans and robots share tasks along a production line. With the assistance of cobots, local manufacturers can achieve higher levels of efficiency and rapid productivity gains.”

He explained that cobots can easily be reprogrammed to solve new tasks to meet the short-run production challenge faced by companies and thereafter, adjusted to ever more advanced processing in smaller batch sizes. The adoption of cobots can help expand the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the economy and boost innovation and capacity for Small & Medium Enterprises (SME).

Universal Robots’ collaborative robots could potentially improve productivity for manufacturers by up to 30 percent.

Vietnam’s manufacturing industry is a key growth driver of the economy. In 2018, it accounted for 16 per cent of the country’s total GDP, reaching a value of 886.58 trillion Vietnamese dong. In 2019, it contributed to a 8.86% growth of the industry. However, the average automation levels among local manufacturing firms are still low. Automation can potentially raise productivity and GDP growth in Vietnam, generating higher incomes for workers and market opportunities for companies.

According to Universal Robots, firms that have gone the automation route have increased production by as much as 300 per cent; while reducing defects by 90 per cent and lifting profits by 20 per cent. Universal Robots is targeting key industries such as electronics, automotive, semiconductor, food & beverage, furniture and consumer products.

Darrell Adams, Universal Robots’ Head of Southeast Asia & Oceania

“Tomorrow’s workplace will be run by highly-skilled workers assisted by intelligent devices. Cobots help automate and streamline repetitive and potentially unsafe processes thus, ensuring safe work environment while increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Adams.

Cobots Take on New Roles

Universal Robots offers 7 models of simple, flexible and affordable collaborative robot arms- UR3, UR5, UR10 from the CB3 series and UR3e, UR5e, UR10e and UR16e  from the e-Series, each named after their payloads in kilos. Flexible ±360 degree rotation of all joints allows usage in confined spaces. These cobots can be floor, ceiling, and wall mounted as required. Instead of requiring skilled programmers, cobots come with a tablet sized touch screen user interface, where the user guides the robot arm by indicating movements on the screen.

Universal Robots customers typically see ROI within the first year. This is the case at Benchmark Electronics, a US-based global engineering, manufacturing and integrated technology solutions provider for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), where the company has successfully deployed six Universal Robots' industrial cobots in their assembly and testing processes in its Korat, Thailand operations. 

Benchmark Thailand needed a robotics platform that was easy to understand, learn, and deploy. Unlike some platforms, the Universal Robots cobots use a simple touch-screen teach pendant on free drive mode that operators can learn quickly and create programs, and tweak fine adjustments easily. 

“Through Universal Robots’ cobots, we see greater consistency in our production output and minimal human error. We have improved operational efficiency by 25 percent and saved manufacturing space by 10 percent. This will be good for new business opportunities. We expect to achieve ROI within 18 months,” said Boonlert Aukkarapichata, Director of Operations at Benchmark Thailand.

We evaluated many robots and cobots from different vendors, and we found Universal Robots' (UR) cobots to be the best cobots brand to serve our current and future needs. They are incredibly easy to program and made light work for our operators to learn quickly, and are safe to work alongside with," said Aukkarapichata.”

He added that operators have been transferred to higher-skilled jobs, involving complex assembly processes, following the integration of cobots in the production process

Cobots are now the fastest-growing segment of industrial automation, with the yearly annual revenue for cobot arms expected to reach USD11.8 billion by 2030, up from USD1.9 billion in 2018, according to ABI Research.

Universal Robots is represented by distribution partners in Vietnam and more information can be found at https://www.universal-robots.com/distributors/

H.N (Vietnam Business Forum)