When thinking about the future of robotics, two areas often spring to mind first: China and the United States. China has been noted for its aggressive pursuit of robotic automation, while the U.S. remains the world’s fourth-largest single market for robotics.
However, there are many important stories in robotics going on beyond these two superpowers.
Often unmentioned in all this is Mexico, which saw its robotic sales grow 119% in 2015. Though much smaller than its NAFTA partners U.S. and Canada, its total robotic sales exceeded 6,000 units that year. This may be only the beginning when it comes to automation in Mexico.
Robots Changing the Game in Mexican Manufacturing
Mexico’s manufacturing sector is growing fast and attracting a strong share of direct foreign investment. Areas such as automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, and medical devices all offer distinct opportunities to implement cutting-edge robotic automation.
With robotic sales eclipsing previous records in 2015, Mexico is positioning itself as a resurgent manufacturing powerhouse. Its automotive industry alone has spurred remarkable growth, with new plants opening and existing plants expanding throughout the nation.
Major automotive brands are now investing billions of dollars in Mexico. This, in turn sparks more rapid expansion of operations from smaller automotive OEMs. Using robotics, companies across the entire value chain can cut costs, raise quality, and improve the safety of their workforce.
A New Mexican Robotics Age May be About to Dawn
In May 2015, noted automation system supplier ATI opened its first Mexico office. Prior to that big move, ATI already had substantial sales in the country. Robotic tool changers, finishing tools, and other products were beginning to appear in Mexican manufacturing plants, so the new location was a natural next step.
Mexico is not merely importing foreign robots, but increasingly designing its own.
Companies like Genesis ICESA, a certified RIA robotics integrator, are pushing the envelope by designing and fabricating the most sophisticated systems from right inside Mexico. Genesis ICESA is the Mexican subsidiary of an established global enterprise.
The future of Mexican self-sufficiency in the robotics space depends on maintenance of strong trade relations and the continuing development of a highly-skilled workforce. With increasing global interest in its powerful manufacturing sector, both factors are on Mexico’s side.
If development continues, Mexico could easily become a global dynamo in the robotics space – with output and innovation far exceeding what its relatively small size might suggest.
The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has recently launched a not-for-profit trade association specifically dedicated to supporting and promoting the rapidly growing Mexican automation industry. For more information about A3 Mexico, please visit our new website www.a3mexico.com.mx.