The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is driving steady growth in the global market for robotics, according to a report.
Frost & Sullivan’s Industrial Automation & Process Control team said digitisation and human-robot collaboration were set to transform manufacturing business models and major companies are investing in robots for factory operations.
Consequently the team predicts annual growth of 14.4% in the adoption of industrial robots in factories between 2016 in 2023.
“Cloud, a major enabler of IoT and data analytics, will disrupt industrial manufacturing as manufacturers turn to software/data-driven services apart from legacy automation systems,” said Frost & Sullivan analyst Sharmila Annaswamy.
“The convergence of information technology and operations technology (OT) will drive collaborations between robot manufacturers and communication and software providers.”
She predicted that by 2023 the global industrial robotics market would be worth $70.26bn, although some companies would resist the new developments.
“Since the industrial cloud is in a nascent stage, manufacturing companies are unclear about its benefits,” she said.
Among the benefits of collaborative robots compared to more traditional robots are better utilisation of factory floor space and a 25% reduction in installation cost.
Collaborative robots, sometimes called cobots, are robots that are designed to be safe around people, either by using limited force to avoid injury if they touch workers or using sensors to avoid doing so.
The report said companies considering using these robots must strictly consider existing risk assessment methodologies and implement improvised safety regulations.
“Key challenges that leading industrial robotics companies will face include industrial cloud security concerns, low awareness, making cloud implementation seamless and cost effective, and boosting the skillset of resources to keep pace with the evolving manufacturing technologies,” added Annaswamy.
“Emphasis is also required on making industrial robots futuristic and economical through new business models, such as collaboration-as-a-service, plug-and-play, and robotics-as-a-service, which focus on quick returns on investment and lasting customer satisfaction.”
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