The rise of industrial robots…
In 2015, robot sales increased by 15% to 253,748 units, again by far the highest level ever recorded for one year. The main driver of the growth in 2015 was general industry with an increase of 33% compared to 2014.
By 2019, some 2.6 million robot units will be working around the world. That’s another 1.4 million new industrial robots on today’s figures, according to the latest forecast from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). World Robotics 2016 Industrial Robots report
Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) are in the automotive, electrical/electronics and metal and machinery sectors.
Australia and New Zealand have immaculate pedigrees in the highly competitive food and beverage industries, which are continuing to invest heavily in robotics automation to increase efficiencies, throughput and product quality.
While packaging and materials handling has traditionally been the focus for robotics applications within the food & beverage and pharmaceutical industries, the development of food-grade articulated robots that are able to handle raw food in processing applications have seen increasing investment in this area.
Higher demand from local and overseas markets, which puts pressure on the entire supply chain – particularly in terms of increasing the need to monitor quality and to ensure we maintain the strong reputation of our locally produced goods.
Re-shoring – Bringing manufacturing back home again.
Re-shoring is a recent phenomenon where manufacturing and processing facilities are being relocated back to Australia in the form of highly automated plants. Such facilities offer local manufacturers the same low manufacturing costs as their overseas counterparts, but without having to contend with the long supply lines and potential lack of certainty inherent in being located in other areas within the Asia-Pacific region.