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Robots ‘created 80,000 jobs in the electronics sector’

03 July, 2014

A report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), suggests that robots created up to 80,000 jobs in the electronics sector between 2008 and 2011. The report is based on an updated 2013 study by the research firm, Metra Martech, which concluded that for every robot deployed, 3.6 jobs are created. By 2016, robotics is predicted to account for an extra 110,000 jobs in the electronics sector, globally.

“This encouraging growth trend is evidence that robots do indeed create jobs,” says IFR president, Arturo Baroncelli. “In the electronics industry, in particular, robots are lauded for their superhuman speed and precision when faced with often dull, repetitive tasks.

“There is simply no other way to achieve these production levels,” he adds. “The worldwide consumer demand for smartphones, computers, video game consoles, and a new generation of high-tech electronics depends on robotic automation.”

The report suggests that robotics is critical to production processes where the product cannot be made to satisfactory precision, consistency or cost, without using flexible automation. The need to achieve high quality at an affordable cost accounts for the highest employment increase in the electronics sector.

Baroncelli: There is simply no other way

IFR attributes the jobs growth to electronics manufacturers and their suppliers gearing up to meet increased demand. Manufacturers are expanding and adding more facilities, recruiting automation specialists and technicians, and hiring support personnel, it says.

Around the world, at least 2.1 million jobs in the electronics sector are thought to depend on robotics. Countries with a traditional strength in low-cost electronics assembly, such as China, will need to deploy more robotics to remain competitive globally, IFR argues. It points out that robotic automation is enabling companies in North America and Europe to reshore manufacturing operations and cut their host countries’ trade deficits.

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