ABB industrial robotics predictions 2022
As labor shortages in manufacturing industries continue to rise, the rise in demand for robotics is expected to continue. Additionally, software intelligence makes bots more adaptable, further reducing barriers to adoption and making it easier for new users to start automating. The result is a world in which robotic technologies are becoming more ubiquitous than ever.
“The pandemic has accelerated far-reaching global megatrends – from labor shortages and supply chain uncertainty to the individualized consumer and growing pressures to operate sustainably and resiliently – driving new businesses to turn to robotic automation,” said Marc Segura, president of ABB’s robotics business. “As technology opens up new opportunities to meet customer demands, new trends will continue to emerge that will further drive demand in areas where robots have traditionally not been used.”
In particular, Segura has identified three key trends that ABB believes will shape the demand for industrial robots in 2022.
Trend 1: Electric vehicles will bring changes to automotive manufacturing
As tighter emissions regulations and fuel economy standards push automakers to scale back production of internal combustion engine vehicles and shift to electric cars instead, auto supply chains could be upset. Indeed, electric vehicles require many components that internal combustion engine vehicles do not have. In particular, automakers will seek to bring battery manufacturing as close to vehicle assembly as possible to meet sustainability requirements. This means that new facilities will have to be built. According to Segura, these new facilities will most likely make extensive use of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to enable more modular and flexible production. Segura sees this shift happening as automotive manufacturing attempts to become more responsive to rapidly changing demand.
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Trend 2: E-commerce will create more demand for flexible and mobile robots
As mass customization continues to sweep through consumer goods markets, companies must find new ways to adapt their production lines and distribution processes to enable personalization in both manufacturing and delivery. Meeting these needs will require the adoption of more mobile, flexible and intelligent robotic technologies.
“This trend will see the growth of lighter and smaller robotic applications, enabling the expansion of automation into new areas of warehousing and distribution operations. As AI in robotics matures and learning robots become mainstream, expect to see these technologies deployed alongside AMR technologies, orchestrated and managed by intelligent software to deliver flexibility, speed and efficiency. increased,” Segura said.
Trend 3: The use of robots will increase dramatically, requiring retraining of workers
In smaller businesses with less experience using robots, more affordable robots with collaborative features and intuitive programming will continue to proliferate. In particular, high-volume and low-volume manufacturers who use CNC machines to produce parts and components for other companies are attracted to collaborative robots because they can work directly alongside human employees to help them in tasks such as machine maintenance. Additionally, advances in software intelligence that enable this adaptability and responsiveness could also help robots migrate to new environments such as construction, healthcare labs, restaurants, and retail establishments.