Industrial Robotics has seen a steady rise around the globe with its influence and footprint cutting across industries such as Automotive, Electronics, Pharma, Food and Beverage. It has been widely acknowledged for a while now that India needs widespread use of robotic automation to take on production needs of the future and stay competitive in the world market. Increased usage of industrial robots working alongside humans is essential to achieve the vision of Make in India. To enable this, a judicious mix of speed, skill, accuracy and consistency is required.
Auto Industry driving adoption
The Automotive industry has been the leading user of robots on the shopfloor. India has now emerged as one of the biggest auto component manufacturers in the world. India is already the largest manufacturer of tractors, 2nd largest manufacturer of two wheelers and of buses, and is the 6th largest among the car manufacturers. As of the financial year 2015-2016, India produced over 3.4 million passenger vehicle units. This demand has resulted in high unprecedented output by the auto ancillary market that produces engine parts, drive transmission and steering among other auto parts.
Challenges on the shopfloor
A constant challenge on the manufacturing shop floor is working with manpower for simple and repetitive tasks. Because of their monotonous nature, these tasks result in tedium, under-utilize the potential of a human and consequently result in quality issues, high labor turnover and low production rates. All of these can impact the company’s reputation e.g. a faulty part can potentially ship to customers, delay in production can cause a slip on committed timelines etc. Moreover, rising cost of labor coupled with constant downward pressure on price causes an untenable situation for component manufacturers. Robotics based automation is a good way to address these challenges.
Key Considerations for adoption of Industrial Robotics
Application: Some common labor operations that are inherently repetitive and monotonous include processes such as Pick n’ Place, Dispensing, Screw Fastening and other Machine Tending processes. Such processes lend themselves well to adoption of industrial robotics. CNC Machine Tending is one of the largest applications in this spectrum. Flexible robotic automation enables these processes to be performed by Robots, leading to improved productivity and consistent quality.
Flexible Future-ready Technology: Another important dimension to consider is the need to build a flexible shop floor, one that can cater to a variety of components and variations in models to be produced. The shop floor needs to be Industry 4.0 ready with interconnection of machines and cloud enablement, particularly to realize efficiencies of remote monitoring and preventive maintenance.
RoI: While it may seem obvious that robots are more productive, adoption of industrial robotics has not accelerated. With the market, dominated by imported robots, the high cost of robots remains an economical barrier to adoption. However, the arrival of Indigenous manufacturers who understand the nuances of the Indian shopfloor is set to lower that barrier. However, low price alone cannot be an enabler. Availing technology for the future at the lower price points is the key.
Support: As adoption of Industrial Robots gains momentum, the need for local support in terms of both knowledge and spares is critical. Working with solution providers who stock spares locally may be a viable option.
India is ready for flexible automation! However, while robots are a great solution, it is important to understand factors that will influence outcomes on your shopfloor. There is no one-size fits all approach to adoption of industrial robotics. Speak to experts and existing users to decide on the optimal solution.
At Systemantics, we indigenously design and manufacture industrial robotic arms that will enable widespread adoption. Our flagship products ASYSTR 600 and ASYSTR 400 are innovatively designed, industry 4.0 ready and are available at highly competitive price points. You can reach us at +91-80-4093-9217 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.