The Rise of Robots in Automotive
Yes, the auto industry continues to lead the way in robot orders according to the Robotic Industries Association.
According to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), 2019 robot orders were up 1.6% compared to 2018. This means that 29,988 robots were ordered. What is interesting to note is the biggest driver of this increase: Automotive.
According to the RIA, there was a 50.5% increase in orders from automotive OEMs.
Inside the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant: plenty of robots. (Image: Ford)
And while it might be thought that the OEMs would be nearly saturated in terms of the number of robots they have on the line and so the growth in automotive would be predicated on orders from suppliers, the data show that there was actually a 6.6% decline in orders from automotive component manufacturers.
(By the way: if you’re interested in robots, check this out.)
A new generation of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) yields a new acronym: PAC (programmable automation controller). There’s a lot more control power today.
This is the Case IH 8000 Series Austoft sugar cane harvester: According to CNH Industrial, which owns Case, in Brazil, where equipment like this is used, sugar cane harvesting, which had once been a labor-intensive process (as had been the production of cars and components), workers had been able to cut cane at a rate of up to 500 kg per hour.
General Motors Co.’s Cruise Automation unit says it puts backup drivers and auditors through extensive training before allowing them to participate in real-world autonomous vehicle tests.