One exec reports rising interest from companies outside the automotive space that are looking to launch massive automation ramp-ups with multi-robot fleets across multiple global locations. Experienced systems integrators will be in demand to help these companies quickly scale.

In contrast, the growing number of smaller manufacturers now looking to adopt robotics for the first time will need robots that are easy to set up, program and deploy. Collaborative robots will play a major role in satisfying this demand and cobots are projected to occupy up to 29 percent of the total market for industrial robots within the next decade. Entire ecosystems are developing around cobots to provide plug-and-play peripherals – grippers, sensors and software – for a turnkey solution to rapid, cost-effective deployment in a variety of applications. Ease of use, scalability and flexibility will be in greater demand going forward.


Reshoring was a hot topic among these thought leaders. It’s been a source of fodder for several years as labor costs rise in traditionally low-wage regions, trade tensions mount, and robotics and automation costs continue to decline.

Supply chain disruptions that rippled across the globe due to the pandemic have stoked the reshoring debate. Financial and investment analysts say they are struck by the overwhelming interest in automation and expect it to help offset the costs of reshoring efforts. A Bank of America Global Research report foresees new high-tech, higher-paying jobs, increased innovation, and a positive ripple effect on local economies as these Tectonic Shifts in Global Supply Chains play out over the next decade.

In highly competitive, high-paced markets, automation becomes the great equalizer, at home and abroad. Turbocharged by the pandemic, investments in digitalization (employing digital technologies and information to transform business operations for greater productivity and efficiency) are expected to soar. Packed with the right enabling technologies, robots can sense, track and trace anything they encounter and communicate with other automation, providing a bounty of actionable insights.


(Source: RIA Robotics Online - 12 2020)