Last updateMon, 06 Jul 2020 6pm

Survey: How robots help German industry

10 million workers will be missing by 2040

77 percent of industrial companies depend on robots

By 2040, the labour market in Germany will be short of ten million people compared to today's figure, due to demographic change. To compensate for the consequences, 77 percent of industrial decision-makers are already relying on "colleague" robots. In addition to corporations, smaller companies are increasingly affected by this development: According to the forecast, 84 percent consider the widespread use of robot technology in medium-sized companies to be not a question of "if" but of "when". These are the results of the automatica Trend Index 2020. 100 specialists and managers in Germany who make decisions about robotics and automation in industrial companies were surveyed by a market research institute on behalf of the world's leading trade fair automatica.

According to the German Federal Statistical Office, around a quarter of all employees currently work in the industrial sector alone - that is around eleven million people. At the same time, a total of around 216,000 industrial robots are currently in use in this segment. This puts Germany in fifth place worldwide - according to the latest figures of the International Federation of Robotics. In terms of robot density, there are around 1,270 units per 10,000 employees in the automotive industry and around 340 in the manufacturing industry.

Robots and labor shortage

"Against the background of demographic change and the changing world of work, robotics and automation make a very important contribution to securing global competitiveness and keeping people in employment for longer," says Patrick Schwarzkopf, VDMA Robotics and Automation. "Robots are quite excellent at taking on individual tasks. For example, the robot relieves workers in a team from dangerous, unhealthy and monotonous tasks. At the same time, the speed and precision of robots can significantly increase productivity". According to the survey, 77 percent of industry decision-makers confirm that robots already play a key role in responding to labor shortages and driving automation.

Main reasons for using robots

In the opinion of around 80 percent of the experts in the industrial companies, the most important reasons for producing with robots in the future include

Humans take off heavy loads
The handling of hazardous materials
Taking over monotonous work
At the same time, 81 percent report that robot programming has tended to become simpler, paving the way for use in medium-sized companies.

"How robotics and automation contribute to keeping the industry competitive will be demonstrated at the automatica in Munich from 16 to 19 June. The trade fair provides an overview of all the relevant solutions and products for increasing automated production and also brings together all the key technologies of the future under one roof," says Falk Senger, Managing Director of Messe München.


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