Factories of the future: Transforming Industry Through Robotics Brings the Hope of a More Human Relationship to Work

A world in which workers no longer have to carry heavy loads, and where difficult handling tasks are performed by intelligent vehicles.

LYON, France--Recently published studies all agree on the big trends that are shaping smart factories or Industry 4.0:


* Sustainable industry that minimizes energy consumption and waste production while incorporating recycling in the value chain.
* Integration of digital technology. Emergence of 3D printers is taking part in this transformation, though we don't yet know exactly what their impact will be.
* Automation and "advanced" robotics are a given, with artificially intelligent systems, collaborative robots enabling automation of new tasks and use of robots at small and medium-sized companies. Digital and robotics transformation converge in intelligent systems that are flexible, with streamlined integration, improved programming and reduced implementation costs.

This inevitably leads to the question of the role human beings will play in the factory of the future, a question sometimes oversimplified and asked strictly in terms of impact on employment. As industry drives a large share of the value creation in the European economy, Europe clearly needs to "re-industrialize". Yet, the share of industry in the Continent's GDP has fallen from 20% to 15% over the past 15 years.

There is no simple answer to the question of "robotics and employment". We have to ready ourselves for a deep transformation of our society. In this case, why not adopt a more positive vision of how robotics can benefit industry?

Let us imagine a world where on factory assembly lines robots and humans work side-by-side, perfectly complementing one another. A world in which workers no longer have to carry heavy loads, and where difficult handling tasks are performed by intelligent vehicles. Originally a purely industrial solution, collaborative robots - "cobots"- are now becoming a solution for enhanced workstation ergonomics…

Featured Product

IPR Robotics - Right-Sized 7th Axis Robot Linear Rails

IPR Robotics - Right-Sized 7th Axis Robot Linear Rails

IPR Robotics offers a wide range of servo-driven 7th axis linear rails for industrial robots. These rails come in ten different sizes and are constructed from modular high strength extruded aluminum sections to handle payloads of 100 kg to 1600 kg or from steel to handle 2000 kg payloads. This variety of rail sizes allows each application to be sized correctly, controlling the space required and the price point. The drive train design of these rails utilizes helical gear-racks and is proven over 10 years to be repeatable and reliable, even in tough foundry applications.