Universal Robots, the global leader in collaborative robots (cobots), has commenced “Collaborative APAC – Cobot Expo 2021”, an online event where automation luminaries in Asia Pacific converge to address business challenges of an ageing workforce, labour shortage, and changing career aspirations with collaborative automation. Unlike traditional industrial robots, cobots are collaborative and are designed to work alongside human employees, giving businesses the benefits of humans and robots combined. The online event will showcase the new concepts and approaches to automation involving the perfect human-robot collaboration.
Leading cobot luminaries, Kim Povlsen, President of Universal Robots and James McKew, Regional Director of Asia Pacific open the keynotes with a panel discussion, addressing the regional and global outlook for cobots on 9 November 2021, from 1200 to 1230 hours (SGT, GMT+8). Delivering his first keynote in the Asia Pacific since being appointed to the position this year, Povlsen dives deeper into the topic of “Refining Automation” and empowering the digital workforce of the future.
Weathering the Storm of the COVID-19 Pandemic
“As companies move towards a new normal, we are witnessing supply chain challenges and labour shortages caused by an aging workforce and different career choices. People are starting to question the kind of work that should be done by humans. Many jobs in manufacturing, assembling and processing involve dull, dirty and dangerous work. Collaborative automation is setting a trend for people to ascend to more interesting jobs. With the implementation of collaborative robots, humans are now becoming expert cobot operators. Workers can now assign their ‘co-workers’ the cobots with the repetitive tasks, while they spend more time developing innovative strategies and finding solutions for business challenges with their creativity and problem-solving skills. These changes lead to greater job satisfaction and career advancement. At Universal Robots, we hope people can be working with robots instead of being treated like robots,” said Kim Povlsen, President, Universal Robots.
In the opening keynote panel discussion, James McKew, Regional Director of Asia Pacific, Universal Robots, shares successful collaborative automation implementations in Asia Pacific and his insights on the regional outlook.
“Speaking from the perspective of the Asia Pacific region, operating factories has become a challenge due to the aging workforce. The disruption to supply chains and sudden material shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic left manufacturers coping with transitions. With all the benefits cobots could offer such as flexibility and its small footprint, business owners and manufacturers are realising that they can remain competitive in the market. This allows for more activities in collaborative automation and even bringing back businesses that were previously set offshore,” said McKew.
Huge Opportunities Ahead for Collaborative Automation
Automation is more than just having robots across industries for increased productivity and efficiency. Now, collaborative automation is offering substantial opportunities to businesses that are prepared to embrace the changing trends and automation wave. From financial benefits to new job creation, cobots will be gaining ground within the robotics industry.
“As the pioneer in the collaborative robots market with over 50,000 cobots sold, we believe that cobots have become a perfect companion for human operators. With more than 10 million tasks currently done by humans, we foresee the growth of cobots to rise exponentially. There are huge opportunities to help businesses create more meaningful jobs and further accelerate the wave of automation,” explained Povlsen.
“It is heartening to witness how countries are seeking solutions to safeguard their employees while maintaining business continuity. Taking Singapore as an example, the nation has called to reduce the reliance on migrant labour in light of the pandemic. As the outbreak has caused a major shake-up across the economy, Singapore understands the need to adapt to this new normal. This created opportunities for the integration of collaborative robots. Moving forward, cobots will become a nimble tool for reshoring activities, further encouraging collaborative applications in the ASEAN markets,” concluded McKew.
13 November 2021