Uses of industrial robots are about to take off. It is the opinion of the Boston Consulting Group consultants who consider that this market, which not progressed so far that at the rate of 2-3% per year, will accelerate, to around 10%. Depressed prices, performance increase but especially the arrival of a new generation of robots developed, more flexible, explain this new wave of automation.
According to them, this craze for this 2.0 Robotics will allow the major exporting countries to lower their costs of productions in a very significant way. According to them, these are South Korea, the Japan, the Canada and the United States who benefit the most from this new industrial revolution. Conversely, in race competitiveness, a number of countries will win, starting with several European countries, including the France.
South Korea and Japan should obtain spectacular productivity gains
South Korea seems to be the country that will best take advantage of the automation during the next decade. BCG consultants believe that the land of the morning calm is going to reduce the cost of labour between 21 and 47% (!) thanks to the robots, with an average of 33% against 16% for the world average. Even the Japan done less well with 25%, which is a reduction in already highly significant. The United States obtain a rate of 22%, Germany, 21%. Paradoxically, while China has massively team into robots, consultants estimate its gains to 18%.
Behind, in addition to the Thailand and Poland, many countries will literally pick up with earnings well below the world average. BCG places in the same bag the France, the Switzerland and Belgium, yet quite different countries in terms of industrial fabric and robotization. The three countries will only get 9% of earnings. In contrast, countries that rely totally on their low-cost labour such as the India or the Mexico will lose many points of competitiveness in developed countries that will make this effort of robotisation.
The robots have already left behind the man in several industries
As highlighted in the report, all industries will benefit the same from this windfall of productivity brought by the new-generation robots. The automotive industry, one of the most advanced in terms of automation, the hourly cost of a welding robot is of the order of $ 8 per hour, compared to $25 for a worker (figures for the U.S. market). Same observation in the electronics industry where a Universal Robots UR5 type Assembly robot costs $ 4 per hour, compared to $24 for the worker. Over the next 10 years, multiple industry will know an inflection point, with the cost of using the robot become lower than that of human beings. For example, consultants believe this inflection point to 2018 for electrical equipment, 2023 for the production of furniture, a sector still lagging in automation.
What will be the social consequence of such a wave of robots around the world? BCG consultants don’t say nothing…
“Takeoff in Robotics Will Power the Next Productivity Surge in Manufacturing”, Boston Consulting Group press release, February 10, 2015