Robotics Industry News
A3 Focuses On Robot Adoption and Jobs at RoboUniverse Conference
Robotic Industries Association Posted 03/25/2016
Organization To Present Statistics, Real-World Examples of Robots Creating Employment Opportunities
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – Today the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the global advocate for the benefits of automating, announced it will be presenting at the upcoming RoboUniverse Conference on a panel titled, ‘The Real Story on The Future of Jobs.’ The conference takes place April 11-12 in New York City, with the presentation set for Monday, April 11, from 2:15-3:00 p.m. EDT. As one of the foremost experts on robots and automation worldwide, the organization will offer its unique insight into and knowledge of how robotics and automation continue to create jobs – often contrary to popular belief.
According to the latest A3 statistics, a total of 31,464 industrial robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered from North American companies in 2015, an increase of 14% in units and 11% in dollars over 2014. The recent record performance by the robotics market in North America is concurrent with falling unemployment. Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate in the United States reached 4.9%, its lowest level since February of 2008.
A3’s President, Jeff Burnstein, will be joined by Robert D. Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a technology policy think tank, and Consultant and Founder of The Air Zone, Darryl Jenkins, to discuss in detail the state of the “Robot Economy” – including how companies of any size and any industry can benefit, and how the robotic revolution is directly tied to an increase in productivity leading not just to job growth, but also job loss prevention.
“Based on our findings, many of the jobs in robotics that exist today are the direct result of companies adding automation capabilities to their business operations,” said Bernstein. “These new functions have opened up the door to new opportunities for skilled workers, which increases a company’s overall bottom line. With an ever-changing employment landscape, more and more people are entering the robotics workforce for re-training, or even to learn an entirely new skill.”
Robots and Humans At Work
One of A3’s member companies has spent years working with customers who can attest to those exact results. Universal Robots (UR), a market leader in collaborative robot (cobot) technology, enables its customers to keep staff yet employ an automated robotic system that works side-by-side with their human counterparts in order to achieve a task more efficiently and effectively.
A recent example is Dynamic Group, a Minnesota-based contract manufacturer. The company has quadrupled its injection molding production by employing three Universal Robots to tend the machining cycles, thereby freeing up workers for more challenging tasks.
“Instead of using employees as labor, Dynamic Group is now training them to operate, install, and program the UR robots, ultimately giving them a better job,” noted General Manager of Universal Robots Americas Division Scott Mabie. “The increase in productivity enables Dynamic Group to stay competitive and avoid layoffs. We’re now seeing this trend repeat itself across the vast range of industries adopting our cobots.”
Universal Robots will be presenting these findings, as well as others from a variety of customers, from RoboUniverse booth #411 where their cobots will be showcased.
“Neo-Luddites argue that an accelerated pace of technological change is leading to widespread automation, which in turn will lead to mass unemployment,” said Atkinson. “But this is patently false if you look across any other period of technological change in history. Automation boosts productivity. And higher productivity saves organizations’ money, which flows back into the economy through higher profits, higher wages, or lower prices. People then spend this bounty to buy other things, which in turn drives employment in these areas of additional spending. That is why higher productivity always has and always will lead to increases in demand, not decreases, and why it creates employment instead of undercutting it.”
RoboUniverse’s exhibit floor will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, the 11th, and from 10:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, the 12th, with presentations running concurrently from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days.
For more information, visit www.robouniverse.com.
About Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
The Association for Advancing Automation is the global advocate for the benefits of automating. A3 promotes automation technologies and ideas that transform the way business is done. A3 is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA - Advancing Vision + Imaging, and Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA). RIA, AIA, and MCMA combined represent some 900 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world that drive automation forward. For more information, please visit our websites: A3; RIA; AIA; and MCMA.
About Universal Robots
Universal Robots pioneered collaborative robotics and remains a market leader and first mover within this emerging technology. The product portfolio includes the collaborative UR3, UR5 and UR10 robot arms named after their payloads in kilos. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2008, the company has seen substantial growth with the user-friendly cobots now being sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Average payback period for UR robots is the fastest in the industry with only 195 days. The company is headquartered in Odense, Denmark, where all development and production is carried out. Subsidiaries and regional offices are located in the US, Spain, Germany, Singapore, China and India. Universal Robots has more than 200 employees worldwide. For more information, visit www.universal-robots.com.