Remember when we used to go to trade shows and watch, nose up to a Plexiglas window, while a robotic arm picked up an item with military-salute precision, whirling with a techno-music sound, placing the item just two feet away? Maybe we were just easy to entertain, but it seemed like such a cool feat. Please don’t tell me if you don’t remember this as you’ve always grown up with robots…
Today’s robots are extremely more complex, performing such tasks as welding, soldering, painting, cutting, milling, assembly, and precision operations. Their capabilities, based on flexible multi-axis arms that operate in a dynamic environment, continue to impact automation within the industrial landscape.
Now, according to a new market research report, “Industrial Robotics Market—Global Forecast & Analysis by Applications, Functions, Product & Geography (2012-2017,” published by MarketsandMarkets, the total robotics market globally is expected to reach $32.8 billion by 2017.
Areas that are exploding in particular are based on increased robotic memory and machine vision. What’s interesting is the report’s assertion that there’s a misconception among employee unions of increasing unemployment with the installation of industrial robotics in manufacturing facilities. They say this is due to lack of awareness, inaccurate cost justification given my management, and constant additional training costs.
I must confess, I would have thought there was a negative impact on employment with increased industrial robot use. What do you see in your own workplaces, or in the industry in general?