IFR press release

President´s Report

Robots, the key to strengthen competiveness and expand employment

September 2011

Shinsuke Sakakibara, IFR President

Dear Members,

Recently, the World Robotics 2011 was published with the headline: All-time-high for industrial robots! What are the reasons for the continued strong demand for industrial robots in all regions? The IFR Board member John Dulchinos, Adept Technology, USA, has summarized it perfectly: "The robust growth in the robotics market around the world is strong validation of the economic value robots provide to customers in diverse applications and industries. With the latest technological advancements the value proposition for robotics has never been better, affording customers both small and large, improvements in quality and productivity that allow them to remain competitive in the fast paced global economy." I would like to add that using robots is becoming easier. Moreover, the concerns and apprehensions related to using robots are diminishing. The diversified usage of robots is apt to meet the demand for various requirements of the industrial production processes.

The need to automate is recognized in all industries all over the world. We all remember the announcement of Foxconn some weeks ago to install one million robots in three years. This is an incredible number without mentioning what kind of robots these will be. Experts highly doubt the implementation of the installation of such an immense number of robots in such a short period of time. Apart from all these concerns, we believe that in general, robotization itself is the key to improving 3D (Dangerous, Dirty and Demanding) working environment, productivity, quality of product, and will therefore be advantageous to the companies by strengthening their competitiveness and expanding employment.

The impact of industrial robots on employment is often seen negatively. This is wrong: robots actually create jobs. This is the result of a study commissioned by the IFR and conducted by an independent institute. We will present the conclusions of this study on 10 November 2011 at the iREX in Tokyo.

We are looking forward to presenting this report in Tokyo!



Dr. Shinsuke Sakakibara
IFR President