Vietnam’s Manufacturers Stand to Realise Higher Productivity and Effective Utilisation with Collaborative Robots  

3:48:40 PM | 18/5/2021

Universal Robots (UR), Denmark-based collaborative robots (cobots) technology market leader, has advised Vietnam’s manufacturing industry leaders to implement cobots as an effective solution to address skills and labour shortage as well as achieve higher productivity.

In 2020, the manufacturing sector continues to play a pivotal role in driving Vietnam’s economy, contributing to a percentage of 5.82 percent in the economy. Additionally, it accounts for 16.69 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in Vietnam. According to Nikkei and IHS Market, the Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reflected 51.7 points in December, marking an increased from 49.9 in November. Hence, business conditions in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector witnessed an improvement gradually.

According to "Collaborative Robot Market by Payload, Component, Application, Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2026" report by Markets and Markets, cobots are increasingly being adopted by various industries due to advantages such as increased productivity and effective employee utilisation. The market is expected to reach US$7,972 million by 2026 at a CAGR of 41.8%. Cobots’ market in APAC is also expected to surpass that in Europe by 2021 due to large scale manufacturing industries especially automotive, electronics, and metals sectors which are increasingly deploying cobots.

Vietnam manufacturing industry stands to benefit most from robotics as its processes involve repetitive work in confined, structured spaces, environments that robots excel in. Cobots can work around the clock, produce consistent work under harsh working conditions without any rest.

Today, UR’s cobots allow employees to move from repetitive, low-value tasks to higher value activities that increase work productivity and quality. “Ever since the term ‘Collaborative Robotics’ was coined, we have been the frontrunners in the robotics industry. We have also marked an entire decade since the very first cobot from Universal Robots was deployed in South Asia. Safety is imperative and has become the cost of entry into the cobot market now. UR believes in developing affordable, lightweight, and flexible cobots that could deliver a rapid ROI for the manufacturing industry,” says James McKew, Regional Director of Asia-Pacific in Universal Robots.

Safety and Versatility

Yokota Corporation, a Japan-based company that designs and manufactures bearing races, Factory Automation (FA) equipment, machines for assembly, packing and inspections, selected UR5 cobots to address its labour shortages. The company tried engaging part-time employees and redeploying workers from other departments. However, these measures proved unproductive. Traditional industrial robots were also considered as a solution but were later found not feasible due to additional space requirements and the need for safety guarding.

With safety and versatility as key benefits, the deployment of UR5 cobots led to the establishment of a stable production system, delivering a 20 percent production increase without the need for additional human resources. As Asia remains the strongest market for industrial robots, Universal Robots encourages local manufacturers to deploy cobots on manufacturing floors.

“By lowering automation barrier within the reach of manufacturers who never thought that they could deploy robots due to cost and complexity, we hope to help Vietnam’s industries realise higher productivity and maintain effective utilisation of their plants," concludes McKew.

D.A (Vietnam Business Forum)