Forging New Relationships for the Robotics Industry
by Jeff Burnstein
, Executive Vice President
Robotic Industries Association Posted 09/16/2008
One of our main goals at RIA is to educate our members and others interested in robotics about new opportunities and “what’s next” for robotics applications. In order to accomplish that goal, we sponsor shows and conferences, workshops, award programs, and the industry’s most comprehensive Web site, Robotics Online.
All of these activities highlight the latest and greatest advances in our industry, but this is just the first step in creating new awareness of how robots can help companies boost productivity, improve product quality, speed time to market, reduce scrap and rework costs.
Taking RIA to the Next Level
The real key to our efforts is our ability to forge new relationships for the robotics industry and expanding the sphere of influence for our members. Since our founding in 1974, we have prided ourselves on our ability to work with organizations that have similar interests. We are in frequent contact with great trade groups and technical societies like the Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Institute (PMMI), the Fabricating Manufacturers Association (FMA), the American Welding Society (AWS), the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA), among many, many others.
In fact, RIA is part of a group of synergistic technology associations under the Automation Technologies Council “umbrella.” Our sister trade groups are the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and the Motion Control Association (MCA). Together these trade groups represent more than 550 technology companies doing billions of dollars of business each year in factory automation.
It is through these relationships with other groups that RIA is really able to broaden the exposure for robotics technology and for our members. We have a very compelling message to tell about the benefits of robotics and we seek every available opportunity to tell it!
The rubric of forging new relationships also applies to our members themselves, who by virtue of being RIA members are part of an entire ecosystem of people who can help make their companies more successful.
We constantly create opportunities for our members to connect with each other and with others interested in their products, services, and technology.
I was once again reminded of how important these connections are at our recent Robotics Industry Forum in Orlando. At that event, we have a half day set aside for formal networking appointments in what we call our “Connectioneering” tabletops. Despite the fact that all of the presentations were over for the day, the weather was 80 degrees and sunny, and it would have been easy to find reasons to be outside, the room was jammed with our attendees meeting with one another all afternoon long.
Attendees told us these meetings were invaluable for finding new potential partners, customers, and technology opportunities.
At RIA, we will continue to forge new relationships in the years ahead. We will expand our efforts to reach system integrators to let them know how they can benefit from contacts with robot manufacturers and accessory equipment suppliers. We will continue to spread the word to end users about how participating in RIA is a great way to achieve success when using robotics at their company. And, we will make renewed efforts to reach universities to let them know how membership in RIA can give them new insight and support for their robotics research efforts.