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Survey: German industry saves resources with robots

by Marco van der Hoeven

For a good 80 percent of industrial decision-makers in Germany, robots play an important role in saving resources and operating sustainably in production: robotics improves material and energy efficiency in manufacturing. In addition, green tech products can be manufactured competitively.

These are findings of the automatica Trend Index 2022, which was commissioned by the world’s leading trade fair for intelligent automation and robots, automatica (June 21-24, 2022 in Munich). 100 specialists and managers from industrial companies in Germany who make decisions about the use of robotics and automation were surveyed.

“Soaring energy prices, ambitious climate protection goals and doing business sustainably are top issues in industry – both in Germany and worldwide,” says Dr Susanne Bieller, Secretary General of the International Federation of Robotics. “Robotics helps to produce green technology equipment in large quantities and with the required precision. At the same time, it offers the opportunity to optimize the use of resources and save costs in virtually any production.”

Repair saves resources

Prepare-to-repair is a successful strategy for robot manufacturers and their customers to save costs and resources. In order to be able to carry out as many repairs as possible on site without delays, the Japanese robot manufacturer Fanuc, for example, relies on its own central warehouse for spare parts in Europe: In an area the size of a soccer field, more than half a million parts are kept in stock in Luxembourg.

The concept: short distances save transport times, reduce environmental impact and the company’s consumption of resources. Thanks to this strategy, there were no supply-chain bottlenecks at Fanuc Germany during the Corona pandemic. Swiss manufacturer ABB also focuses on repair and longevity: thousands of robots are overhauled and upgraded by specialized teams to give them a second life.

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