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20 May, 2022

Robots ‘will create 2m jobs in eight years’

28 February, 2013

Japan and Korea now have the most robots per manufacturing employee, with more than 300 per 10,000 employees. Germany follows with more than 250 per 10,000 employees, while the level of penetration in the US is less than half that of Japan and Korea.

Adoption rates are generally rising, with the number of robots in use in China soaring by 210% between 2008 and 2011. The figure for the same period in Korea was 57%, in the US it was 41%, and in Germany it was 11%.

The study points out that robots can improve existing plant efficiencies because they can be added easily to improve operations without redesigning machines and production lines.

Although the automotive industry continues to be the largest user of robots, applications in other industries are expanding. The report cites the food industry as an area for growth where robot use is currently low. Robots can help the industry to boost productivity, lower worker injuries, and meet more stringent hygiene conditions. Many jobs in food manufacturing, it adds, involve repetitive, physically demanding work, leading to repetitive-strain injuries. 

The pharmaceutical industry is another industry that has been slow to adopt robots but is under pressure to cut costs, increase production accuracy, and achieve flexible manufacturing.

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