Universal Robots Future-Proofs Production Processes with Collaborative Robots

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Universal Robots (UR), the most trusted and widely-deployed collaborative robot (cobot) manufacturer globally, has helped Vietnam-based Vinacomin Motor Industry Joint Stock Company (VMIC) – a subsidiary of the Vinacomin Group, a state-owned coal and mining giant – future-proof its production processes with collaborative robots (cobots). VMIC, one of the first state-owned manufacturers to deploy cobots, has seen productivity increase two to three times, with improved product quality, leading to a 50 to 60 percent rise in orders.

Mr Darrell Adams, Head of Southeast Asia & Oceania, Universal Robots said, “Cobots continue to offer businesses in Thailand and Southeast Asia vast benefits to transform their manufacturing processes and remain competitive. VMIC is exemplary of this, automating its once heavily-reliant manual processes and now boasting high productivity and better output quality.

“UR is at the forefront of cobot technology. In Thailand, UR is accelerating the transition to smarter production and sustainable growth for numerous companies. These businesses have experienced higher productivity and improved output quality with cobots. This is spurring cobot technology adoption in the country as companies realise the immense potential of automation. In Thailand, cobots are deployed in the automotive, electronics, textile, pharmaceuticals, footwear and food processing industries,” he added.

Growing Adoption of Robotics in Thailand

Robot adoption is gaining a foothold in Thailand. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the country is the seventh largest robot market in Asia and ranked 11th globally in operational robots. Last year, Thailand registered an estimated 32,300 robots, a 7 percent increase from 30,110 units in 2017. The automotive industry remains the largest user in the country with a 35 percent share of installed robots, followed by the rubber and plastics industry with 19 percent[1].

Southeast Asia is also seeing a steady rise in robot installations. Along with Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are ranked among the 30 largest markets in 2018 with a total of 87,100 operational robots. The electronics and automotive industries remain the largest robot users in the region[2].

UR10 cobots implemented at VMIC

Realising that it was imperative to embrace automation, the VMIC deployed two UR10 cobots to undertake two tasks; pick and place and machine tending.

Mr Pham Xuan Phi, Chief Executive Officer of VMIC said, “Since using the cobots, our productivity has increased two to three fold and product quality is now very consistent. This has led to a rise in orders, as much as 50 to 60 percent and subsequently, an increase in workers’ income. Return on investment (ROI) in Vietnam for such robotic investment is typically between six to eight years, but we are expected to reach it within just one or two years.

“With the UR10 cobots, fewer workers are needed on the factory floor. Allowing us to assign some to higher-level tasks, increasing worker satisfaction and reducing the risk of workplace accidents,” he added.