Robots in industry 5 trends for 2021


The world is becoming more and more digital and progressive. This can be seen, for example, from the fact that the number of robots installed worldwide in industry has more than tripled within ten years (2010-2019)!

Last year alone, the number of robots used was around 381,000. Above all, this creates new opportunities in the world of work.

“The industrial robots are in a pole position when it comes to combining traditional production with ‘digital strategies'”

That’s what Dr. Susanne Bieller. She is the Secretary General of the IFR. As every year, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) also contributed its part to a digital future and presented the top 5 robot trends for 2021 in Frankfurt on February 17th, 2021.

From this it becomes clear: Robots drive industry all over the world. Industrial manufacturing can look forward to many new achievements.

What five trends can you hope for in 2021?

1. New tricks for robots

AI software, image processing and other sensor systems are increasingly being used to prepare robots for new, demanding tasks.

For example, industrial robots are able to take on a task that could previously only be done by humans: sorting waste on a conveyor belt.

In addition, the new generations of robots are easier to install and program. At the same time, they are easier to network with one another.

The advances in communication protocols are also worth mentioning: the seamless integration of robots in automation and Industry 4.0 strategies is easier than ever.

2. Part of the smart factories

The automotive industry is leading the way: It uses smart factory solutions and industrial robots instead of assembly lines, which have dominated traditional production for more than 100 years. In the future, however, the networked interaction of robots and autonomous vehicles will prevail.

A mix of these are autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). These are much more flexible thanks to the most modern navigation technology. Since no conventional production lines are needed, car bodies can be transported using driverless transport systems.

Companies can decouple the AMRs from assembly line production and redirect them to assembly stations. Individually equipped variants can be installed here. If the models are to be changed completely, the robots and AMRs only have to be reprogrammed: Companies save the dismantling and rebuilding of the entire production line.

There is also an even greater rapprochement between man and machine: They are increasingly working hand-in-hand and without a protective fence.

3. New markets for robots

As a result of the innovations in networking, there are more and more robots in the manufacturing sectors that have only recently discovered automation for themselves. Examples of this are the food and beverage industry, textile industry, and wood processing and plastics industries.

The digital transformation also creates completely new business models: Producers can diversify more easily than ever. The traditional rigid production line will soon no longer be needed, because the smart factory enables various productions to be assembled in quick succession – and on the same system.

4. Helpers for climate protection

Investments in modern robot technology are encouraged by the demands placed on industry – to produce as CO2-neutral as possible in the future. The use of modern, energy-efficient robots immediately reduces energy consumption in production.

Their precision work also provides further advantages for climate protection: there are fewer rejects and faulty goods. This has a positive effect on the use of resources and output.

Robots can also be found in the cost-efficient production of systems for renewable energies: Examples are the production of photovoltaic modules or hydrogen fuel cells.

EXTRA: Artificial intelligence: advantages and disadvantages of robots in the workplace

5. Secured supply chains through robots

Weaknesses in the globalized supply chains have mainly become visible as a result of the pandemic. Now, however, manufacturers have the opportunity to look at the supply routes from a completely new perspective.

Adjusting the automation to the production conditions creates a new level of flexibility. This was not yet available in high-wage regions such as most of the EU, North America, Japan or South Korea. That is why automation with robots offers productivity, flexibility and safety.

Furthermore, the IFR General Secretary Dr. Susanne Bieller:

“Advances in robotic technologies are contributing to the increasing use of robots. The Covid-19 pandemic has not itself triggered any new trends, but it has accelerated the use of robotics beyond established practice. In this regard, the pandemic is proving to be the greatest driver of change in the industry. ”


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