A new robot density record has been set in the car industry, with the Republic of Korea leading the world in the number of robots engaged
As per the latest report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the operational stock of robots working in the automotive industry hit a new record and touched the milestone of about one million units around the factories globally. The report remarked that the automotive industry is leading in the field of automation around the world. It engages around 33% of the total robots installed across all sectors.
While the world-leading Republic of Korea had 2,867 industrial robots in operation per 10,000 employees in 2021, Germany had 1,500 units. The third on the list was the United States with 1,457 units per 10,000 workers and Japan, fourth with 1,422 units. It must be noted that China, the world´s biggest carmaker, lagged behind with only 772 robots per 10,000 workers. But, as per the report, it is growing rapidly—with new robot installations almost doubling in 2021. Interestingly, 61,598 units were installed in China, which was 52% of the total 119,405 units installed in the factories globally.
Commenting that the automotive industry effectively invented automated manufacturing, the President of the International Federation of Robotics, Marina Bill added, “Today, robots are playing a vital role in enabling this industry’s transition from combustion engines to electric power. Robotic automation helps car manufacturers manage the wholesale changes to long-established manufacturing methods and technologies.”
With major economies like the European Union, China, and the US planning extensively to shift towards EVs and ‘new energy’, there’s much scope for the car industry to invest in automation. The report noted that most automotive manufacturers who have already invested in traditional ‘caged’ industrial robots for basic assembling are now also investing in collaborative applications for final assembly and finishing tasks. However, it said, tier-two automotive parts suppliers, many of which are SMEs, are slower to automate fully. But their compact sizes, low cost, easy adaptability and operability are strong factors to bring a change in the industry soon.
Last year, a separate report from IFR noted that Korea toped the list of robot density around the world. It had 1,000 industrial robots per 10,000 employees.
The IFR was established as a non-profit organization in 1987 with an aim to connect the world of robotics around the globe. It envisages promoting research, development, use and international cooperation in the entire field of robotics, to act as a focal point for organizations and governmental representatives in activities related to robotics.