VDMA organizes a symposium on robotic automation in manufacturing at Coimbatore

Robot density in India remains very low

VDMA recently organized a symposium on robotic automation in manufacturing at Coimbatore, which was attended by more than 150 participants
VDMA recently organized a symposium on robotic automation in manufacturing at Coimbatore, which was attended by more than 150 participants

The VDMA Robotics + Automation Association of German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) organized the third edition of Robotomation – Symposium for Robotic Automation trends in manufacturing on 12 November at The Le Meridien, Coimbatore. The event was attended by more than 150 participants.

The symposium focused on the global robotics and automation trends available for the manufacturing industry. The symposium was moderated by Jamly John, general manager of VDMA India, also responsible for VDMA Robotics + Automation in India. Rajesh Nath, managing director, VDMA India, during his welcome address said, “Over the decade to 2030, India needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs to absorb the 60 million new workers who will enter the workforce based on current demographics, and an additional 30 million workers who could move from farm work to more productive non-farm sectors.”

“India needs to leapfrog ahead to achieve the employment and productivity growth needed. Fortunately, it has many opportunities to do so. Global trends such as digitization and automation, shifting supply chains, urbanization, and demographic shifts, and a greater focus on sustainability, health, and safety are accelerating or assuming a new significance in the wake of the pandemic,” he said.

Nath said that technology is an enabler that will help reduce or eliminate manufacturing problems and achieve operational goals, provided the deployed technology is used by the employees effectively. 

“While the deployment can be accelerated, training employees, enabling them to use it effectively for problem-solving, requires time. It is important to set the right expectations while starting the transformation journey. Hence friends building a ‘Smart Factory’ is a journey that requires detailed planning, identification, prioritization of areas of intervention, careful choice of technology platforms, a strong business case, and employee onboarding and participation. Most successful programs have been aligned to the vision of the organization, that delivers consistent business benefits and can fund itself over a period of time to ensure long term sustenance,” he added.

Robot density in India remains very low

The managing director of VDMA Robotics + Automation and member of the Executive Board of the International Federation of Robotics, Patrick Schwarzkopf gave a keynote address on ‘Robotics and Automation – The global success story continues.’ 

He said the robot installations in India dropped by 25% year-over-year, the second decline after the peak level of 4,771 units recorded in 2018. The robot density remains very low, with only six industrial robots in operation per 10,000 employees in manufacturing. He mentioned the need for further robotization to upgrade manufacturing. 

During this event, well-known VDMA members, namely Beckhoff Automation, Festo India, ifm Electronic, Pepperl+Fuchs Factory Automation, Schmersal India, Schunk Intec, and Zimmer Automation, conducted application-oriented technology presentations.

VDMA speaks about World Robotics 2021 report

The new World Robotics 2021 report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) states that despite the global pandemic situation, robot installations grew slightly to almost 384,000 units. This represents a growth rate of 0.5% and makes the year 2020 the third most successful year for the robotics industry so far, following 2018 and 2017. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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