Whilst fears of recession worries Europe and the wider markets, the overall picture for the industrial robot market “stays bright.”
So said Shinichi Tanzawa (above), President and CEO of the FANUC Europe Corporation.
“In the first half of our current fiscal year our order volume in all Europe rose by a double digit percentage number and we expect the expansion to continue although it might slow down a bit.”
FANUC has installed more than 550,000 robots, four million CNC controllers and 19 million servo motors worldwide. The company has 263 locations serving 108 countries and employs more than 7,000 people. In Europe, FANUC has 22 entities with around 1,400 employees.
“In the past couple of years the Industrial Robot market in Europe has been growing at a very high speed. It is only natural that we might now see a short term consolidation in some regions.”
He pointed out that the main drivers of automation are intact: a lack of skilled workers, an increase of labour costs and the development of ever more capable industrial robots.
As for the cobot trend. “We increasingly see more demand coming from small and mid-size companies, even from companies who have not been using robots in their production in the past. The interest in collaborative robots is strong all over Europe.”
FANUC believes it has the widest and most reliable range of collaborative robot models on offer, ranging from the small CR-4iA that can handle loads of up to 4kg, up to the CR-35iA that can lift loads of up to 35 kg and assist workers in heavy lifting tasks without the need of special safety equipment like protective fences.”
As for the skills shortage. “In most European countries that we cover we see a lack of robot programmers and engineers. That is hampering companies from automating their production sites at the pace they would like to.”