Successful AUTOMATICA - Future of Robotics
Just three month ago, I reported on the first signs of a recovery of the worldwide robotics industry. How does it look now?
These first signs expanded into a strong recovery. The results of the first quarter of the IFR Quarterly Statistics on worldwide robot shipments showed an increase of more than 50% compared to the first quarter 2009.
We are looking back to an exciting week in Munich from 7 to 11 June 2010.
The AUTOMATICA 2010 was very successful with about 31,000 visitors from all over the world. A lot of innovations were shown.
There was a keen interest from the press in robotics, and the robot suppliers received a package of requests and a lot of order intakes.
The participants of the IFR Round Table in Munich concluded that the robotics industry is back on track and pointed out the future requirements for the robotics industry. The main results of the discussion were:
- The automotive industry will continue to be the main driver of the robotics industry for the nearest years to come.
- Also, new materials, sustainability, more automation of assembly and mainly the demand for "Green Automation" pose new challenges to the robotics industry.
- The interaction of humans and robots, e.g. in small and medium sized companies to run short production batches, and multifunctional robots as well as easier programming are the challenges for robotics.
- Robots of the future should be easy to use like an i-phone. The robotics industry will have to make tremendous efforts to make the robot easier to use, and in the easiest possible way have the robots do what it is expected to do...
The start of a promising recovery was also confirmed at the meeting of the IFR Industrial Robot Suppliers Group in Munich. The year 2009 is ticked off. All companies reported remarkably increasing order intakes in the first five months of 2010. The investments of the automotive industry are remarkably increasing as well as those of the general industry. The main drivers of the recovery are China, Korea and India.
Apropos India. It was a great honour for the IFR to welcome Mr. Deep Kapuria, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) National Committee on Robotics at the IFR General Assembly in Munich. He made an impressive presentation on "India as a future market for robotics". This was a first step towards cooperation between IFR and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to establish an Indian robotics association IFR membership.
About 300 people listened to more than 160 qualified presentations on robotics in five parallel sessions at the ISR2010 which was conducted in cooperation with the German "Robotik 2010" in Munich. A highlight of the ISR2010 was the IERA Award session with the presentations of the six finalists. The winner was Professor Alexander Verl, Fraunhofer IPA, Germany, for his project "Inline Measurement Robots - Robots Get the Precision for Car Body Inspection". The IERA award is jointly sponsored between IEEE & IFR and the focus of the award is "Outstanding Achievement in the Commercializing of Innovation in Robotics Automation"
At the end I still have a bad and a good news. First the bad one: Junji Tsuda, Yaskawa Electric, resigned as Vice-President of the IFR. Recently, he became President of Yaskawa Electric. We regret very much that he had to leave the IFR, but we wish him all the best and great success in his new challenging job.
Now the good news: We are very happy to announce that Dr. Shinsuke Sakakibara, FANUC, has been elected as new Vice President of the IFR. He is already known in the IFR as delegate for JARA. I am looking forward to a good cooperation with him.
Finally, let's tackle the challenges of the future and provide innovative solutions to our customers.