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Robots: Operators – Shifting Ratios Point to Growing Importance of Robotic Workers

 A recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that there are currently about 1.75 industrial robots in the US per 1000 workers. As installations of autonomous machines rise, so does the ratio of robots to human operators, pointing to signs that automation adoption shows no signs of slowing.


The highest geographic density of robots to humans exists in Europe. This makes sense, given the relatively high labor costs, and the investment in Industrie 4.0 as a part of a connected, automated future.

China is currently low in robot to human operator density; however it’s suspected that China is on the edge of rapid growth in the implementation of robotics as it becomes the largest market for robotics. China currently controls 27% of the market share for industrial robotics.

The United States has been making strides in industrial robotic installations as well, with a 17% increase in installations, and a growth expectation of 5-10% in industrial robotics, chiefly in the automotive industry.

These trends point to a larger global trend. As automation and robotics both improve, it’s easier to install adaptive robotics that can work safely alongside people, or offer flexible configurations that allow manufacturers to adjust quickly to market and manufacturing demands.

Industrial robots are now cross-industry, and have applications in nearly any process that involves manual tasks.  InduSoft has several applications in all these industries, offering drivers for Kawasaki, Motoman, Modbus TCP, and more.  A common architecture many applications use to integrate robotics have InduSoft Web Studio communicating with the PLC, which then communicates with the robots.

See the InduSoft case study about an application that uses a robotic arm to encourage interest in STEM fields:

Encouraging the Next Generation of STEM Scientists

You can also listen to the recent interview with MSITec.


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