Future-ready production through robotics and automation

-Smart factory ensures sustainable production -Presentation of diverse new technology expected -automatica Trend Index 2022 results are cause for optimism

How can global supply chains be made less vulnerable? How can we make production more sustainable and conserve resources? And how to implement a quick transition towards digital production so that the European economy will be powerful and fit for the future? Around 600 exhibitors from all over the world will provide answers to these questions and present solutions for the entire range of automation topics at automatica, the world's leading exhibition, which will be held in Munich from June 21 to 24.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that the vulnerability of global logistics networks can bring industrial production to a standstill. A setback for prosperity—but also life-threatening when urgently needed drugs are in short supply. For this reason, efforts to establish reliable supply chains across Europe are in full swing. And the exhibitors at automatica will show that intelligently automated production interlinked by digital networks enables economical local production in Europe without risky dependencies.

Smart factory ensures sustainable production
Eliminating the need to transport components halfway around the globe is directly linked to another hot topic at automatica: sustainability. All top companies are currently working to become CO2-neutral in the next few years. This can only be achieved through smart production lines based on artificial intelligence, which enable an unprecedented degree of flexibility. Robots, cobots, mobile robotic systems, and AGVs as part of a digital network will thus replace inflexible conveyor technology. This enables the conversion of production facilities from one product to another almost at the push of a button without the need to replace costly equipment. All thanks to the smart factory.

The automatica Trend Index 2022, commissioned by automatica, proves that manufacturing companies have long recognized the importance of robotics and automation for industrial transformation. The results of 100 surveyed specialists and executives who decide on the use of robotics and automation in the German industrial sector are clear in that respect.

Survey results are cause for optimism
The so-called Trend Index 2022 delivers a number of interesting insights. Two key results are particularly noteworthy: 82 percent of respondents believe that the use of robots in domestic production could compensate for supply bottlenecks. And just one percent less, 81 percent, believe that robots have the potential to mitigate labor shortages through increased automation—while preventing jobs from being outsourced abroad. Further analysis shows that these results are a plea for domestic production sites as well as for the relocation of production facilities back to Europe to achieve the overarching goal of making supply chains more resilient.

In addition, 85 percent of specialists and executives consider industrial robotics an opportunity for new business: It enables competitive production of green tech products such as solar panels, batteries for e-mobility, or CO2-neutral heating systems in Germany or Europe. Therefore, Germany has good prospects to become a production hub—provided the country is prepared to invest in robotics.

Firework of technology expected
The need for automation makes the 2022 exhibition the most important automatica of all times. After the 2020 exhibition had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, and after four intense years of development, an unprecedented firework of technology is to be expected. AI components, easy-to-use cobots, self-learning robots, and pioneering programming tools—knowing the key components of tomorrow's production today will be a significant advantage. Thus, automatica comes with impeccable timing.

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