Innovation and Covid: the development of the automation world in 2020

The growing use of industrial robots in factories was highlighted in the annual report “World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots”. In fact, during this 2020 the desire for innovation and the appearance of Covid made it necessary to increase the use of automation within industries .

For some years now , companies all over the world have been gearing up to face the revolution of industry 4.0 , in fact Italy is also moving in this direction . In every sector, automation represents a possibility of development and cost containment.

Innovation and Covid: the pushes for the development of automation

The appearance of Covid , in fact, caused a necessary limitation in human interactions and only an important use of robots and automatic systems made it possible to maintain a level of productivity that is at least satisfactory. Furthermore, the use of automatic systems , regardless of the pandemic in progress, represents a possibility of increasing quality and productivity in industries.

2020, and Covid, have given a fundamental push in the development of industrial automation. In fact, important data have been recorded in this sense. The realities that had already embraced the technological change have managed to "survive" the blockades imposed by the various governments . In the year to come, it will be important not to reduce the level of automation, but rather to increase it by aiming at an evolution towards increasingly automated processes.

Currently, in factories , as reported by the report of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), there is a massive use of industrial robots, with the record number of 2.7 million units . This number represents a 12% increase over the previous year. In Europe, Italy , in terms of the use of robots, is second only to Germany , thanks to their use in highly productive sectors, including above all the production of metals and the automotive sector.

Sales of new robots remain at a high level with 373,000 units shipped globally in 2019. This figure represents 12% less than in 2018, but is still the third highest sales volume ever.

"The stock of industrial robots operating in factories around the world today marks the highest level in history," said Milton Guerry, President of IFR.

“Driven by the success story of intelligent manufacturing and automation, this is a worldwide increase of around 85% in five years (2014-2019). The recent slowdown in sales of 12% reflects the difficult times that have gone through the two main sectors served, namely automotive and electrical / electronic ”.

Milton Guerry, President of the IFR.

Automation and new business methods

This transformation within the production lines, and beyond, will force companies to also develop a different business model since the flexibility guaranteed by automation will allow them to diversify activities much more easily than in the past.

The market also needs a certain level of “agility” , and the use of collaborative robots, much easier to insert into industries, but with a level of security that must necessarily be higher, guarantees it.

“Most of OnRobot's Italian customers come from the metallurgical market, with about 40% of the products destined for this sector. However, we note a great growth in the world of packaging, specifically in activities such as palletization, in which flexible and easily relocatable solutions are increasingly required ” underlines Enrico Rigotti, Area Sales Manager of OnRobot Italy. “Other sectors of great interest are Food & Beverage and Pharma; the latter particularly appreciates the adoption of sensitive and flexible gripping solutions such as the OnRobot RG6 grippers ” , continues Rigotti.

Companies engaged in the development of industrial and collaborative robotics are working to integrate new technologies to increase the functionality and collaboration of robots. Through, for example, the use of systems with artificial intelligence and vision and detection systems .

Although 2020 represented a difficult year from a health and economic point of view, the forecasts are quite positive as regards the development of the automation sector and, as highlighted by Interact Analysis, the industrial robotics sector will return to growth already in 2021. , with an expected increase of 9.2% in terms of revenue and 9.6% for deliveries.

2021 will have to represent the next step towards the introduction of automatic systems within Italian companies in order to guarantee a competitive and ever-increasing presence within the glocal market.

The article Innovation and Covid: the development of the automation world in 2020 comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .