Denmark’s Universal Robots, the pioneer of collaborative robots or cobots, expressed its commitment to expand and deepen business presence in India, reports Subhajit Roy.
Cobots are designed to work with humans and assist them with a variety of tasks which help to automate and streamline repetitive and potentially unsafe processes thus, ensuring safe work environment while increasing productivity and efficiency.
Today cobots can automate virtually anything – from assembly to painting, screw driving, labelling, packing, polishing, and injection and whatever other tasks you can think of. Cobots are being considered as the third arm of an operator and a critical component for the factory of the future. They can be deployed in virtually any industry, by any employee.
In India, where labour is comparatively cheap, it is not advisable to eliminate all labour unlike robots do. However, according to Pradeep David, General Manager – South Asia, Universal Robots, “Cobots are very apposite of traditional robots and suitable for the Indian market as they are relatively inexpensive, safe, and easy to deploy.”
Targeting Indian market
Highlighting the company’s core objectives as far as Indian market is concerned, Jürgen von Hollen, President of Universal Robots said, “For me, India means diversity in every context. There are tremendous opportunities despite challenges. So, delivering on the potential of Indian market should be another priority. We believe, if we are successful here, we can be successful anywhere.”
Further, Jürgen believes, India has everything that it needs to be a manufacturing hub – let it be capability, competence and resources. He said, “This is the time for India to elevate itself to the global stage by bringing in the missing tools. I think, one of those may be our cobots. Therefore, our priority is to put India among our top global markets.”
He adds, “We would like to see India aggressively adopt advanced technologies across the spectrum – not only restricted to automotive industry. General production manufacturing segment can be explored at least 10 times with the help of some advanced tools.”
India’s biggest strength is human resource, acknowledges Jürgen. He adds, “We would also like to tap in the fantastic resource base here – the education level is high and moreover the hunger for doing something innovative is high. People want to be successful here and that hunger is very important for us. So, one of our key challenges in taking our company to the global level would be to take advantage of the Indian workforce.”
As cobots are becoming increasingly popular in India, Universal Robots desires to project the success stories of Indian market in the global level. Jürgen said, “In the past, we leveraged our contacts to open up business opportunities in India and soon it will be altered. Indian companies will be our point of reference as the awareness for cobots is increasing in India.”
Pradeep further adds, “Our cobots are low-cost, easy-to-deploy, simple-to-program robotic arms that work on the principle of human-robot collaboration. This is the most important message we need to spread. People in India, especially the small and medium OEMs, still believe that robotic technology is very expensive. An investment of around Rs 18-20 lakhs will enable bringing-in robotics in a facility and the payback period is only 2 years.”
To nurture Universal Robots+ ecosystem in India
Universal Robots+ is an online showroom that provides cutting-edge products to customise a UR robot application that perfectly meets any end-user’s requirements. The platform provides all information related to cobots in one place – from end-effectors and accessories to vision cameras and software. Universal Robots would like to expand the Universal Robots+ ecosystem in India especially for Developers. The Universal Robots+ Developer Program gives access to the company’s new open software platform which allows Developers to design products for UR robots.
Hits US$ 170 mn revenue in 2017
In 2017, UR achieved revenue of US$ 170 million with an impressive 72 per cent year-on-year growth. “Looking ahead at 2018, we expect further revenue growth of at least 50 per cent,” Jürgen informed.
He added, “The cobot market is expected to continue to be one of the key growth drivers in the automation market the coming years. Universal Robots will continue to leverage its position as the market leader for cobots and grow at the same or above the collaborative robot market growth rate for 2018. This, however, can only be done by focusing on our goals of staying ahead technologically, expanding our Universal Robots+ platform and further globalising our regional sales and service footprint and reach.”
In India, UR is witnessing a hopping 100 per cent year-on-year growth which is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, informs Pradeep. Globally, UR has deployed around 21,000 cobots whereas in India, the company entered in 2016 and has already deployed around 400 cobots.
Our cobots are low-cost, easy-to-deploy, simple-to-program robotic arms that work on the principle of human-robot collaboration.
General Manager – South Asia, Universal Robots