ABB Predicts Major U.S. Robotics Trends


With annual profits in the U.S. robotics current market anticipated to improve at 5.62% (CAGR), resulting in a sector volume of around $9 billion by 2027, John Bubnikovich, ABB U.S. Robotics Division President, is generating several predictions on critical traits in in robotics automation in the U.S. for 2023 and further than. 

”The influence of U.S. labor shortages is ever more becoming felt by quite a few corporations as they struggle to keep speed with customer calls for, even with the potential for some softening in the U.S. economy in the small-phrase,” Bubnikovich stated. “This, put together with world wide political uncertainty, fragile supply chains and growing material charges, in addition to the developing development of reshoring and nearshoring of functions, indicates much more companies are adopting robotic automation to improve adaptability, build resilience and adapt far more sustainable manufacturing procedures.”

Pattern 1 – Demand for robots will increase in response to extended time period labor shortages and surge in re- and nearshoring

The effect of labor shortages is clearly felt throughout a huge array of industries and will continue perfectly beyond 2023 as the outcome of aging populations and a reluctance to choose on very low paid out, boring, filthy and hazardous employment will increase. 

The Congressional Funds Office environment a short while ago forecast that the dimensions of the U.S. labor force will expand by just .2% on a yearly basis from 2024 to 2031, and by 2030, it is predicted that far more than 2.1 million U.S. manufacturing employment will be unfilled.  This will hamper economic expansion and present businesses with the require to find new methods to plug gaps in workforces.

Demand for robots will be particularly potent in international locations where by companies are scheduling to re- or close to-shore their operations to enable increase their offer chain stability in the encounter of international uncertainty. In a survey of 1,610 companies carried out by ABB Robotics in 2022, 70% of U.S. firms claimed they are arranging to re- or close to-shore their functions, with 62% indicating they would be investing in robotic automation in the upcoming three many years.

“While significantly of the mainstream consideration has targeted on the impact of automation using positions, robots will progressively complete the bodily tense jobs that people are reluctant to carry out, helping to reasonable industrial and professional labor shortages,” Bubnikovich reported. “The continuing progress in simplicity of use and adaptable functionality of robots, including the enhancement of collaborative versions with larger payloads this kind of as ABB’s GoFa and SWIFTI cobots, signify organizations can handle capabilities gaps and make far better use of their present workforces.

“We will also see robots getting on tasks in new sectors such as food items processing and health care. For illustration, ABB robots are in operation at a White Castle frozen hamburger plant in Louisville, Kentucky, where a complete automated packaging procedure characteristics three distinctive varieties of robots dealing with 3 various functions.  And, at the University of Texas Professional medical Department (UTMB) in the Houston, Texas, ABB robots are revolutionizing antibody study by automating the screening system, escalating the amount of tests accomplished per working day from 15 to 1000. We will see robots taking on more roles in very similar options going forward as labor shortages keep on to effects quite a few enterprises,” Bubnikovich mentioned.  

Trend 2 – AI and autonomous technologies will make robots simpler to use, combine and obtain – opening up additional opportunities in new industries

The modern progress of ABB’s Visible Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (Visible SLAM) technological innovation will boost the productivity, versatility and velocity of ABB’s selection of Autonomous Cell Robots (AMRs).

Making use of AI-enabled 3D vision to accomplish spot and mapping capabilities, Visible SLAM allows AMRs to make intelligent navigation decisions centered on their environment. Remedies like these help companies to shift away from standard creation traces in direction of integrated scalable, modular output cells, whilst optimizing the supply of components throughout services.

Ongoing developments in synthetic intelligence are powering autonomous grasping and positioning, which will extend the array of duties robots can perform. This bigger use of AI in robotics helps with jobs like the selecting of non-uniform objects, which is on outstanding display at a Burrtec Squander Industries content restoration facility in Riverside, California. 

Here, eyesight- and AI-enabled ABB delta robots scan elements on squander stream conveyor, selecting a variety of contaminants from the line that the robot has acquired are not able to be recycled. 

At the same time, ongoing simplification of the software package and controllers employed to method robots will additional lower boundaries to adoption by removing the have to have for expert expertise.

“Over the previous couple of yrs, the abilities of artificial intelligence in the robotics realm have improved appreciably,” Bubnikovich reported. “As the technological innovation proceeds to experienced and turn into less complex, enabling relieve-of-use and several programs, robotics will penetrate segments beyond classic producing and distribution, these types of as electronics, healthcare, e-commerce, prescribed drugs and foodstuff assistance.”

Trend 3 – More professional partnerships between field and educators will aid a new era of automation

With extra providers employing robots, there is a rising will need for employees to discover new skills that will permit them to thrive in an automatic surroundings. Acquiring this will call for a cooperative, multi-generational method, from faculties, schools and universities via to SMEs and supporting associations to present coaching. 

“Businesses in the upcoming will want staff members with expertise in implementing automation to complete a assortment of processes,” Bubnikovich reported. “As robots turn out to be far more commonplace in factories, warehouses and other environments, there will be an enhance in partnerships amongst robotic OEMs, method integrators, makers and educators to supply individuals the important capabilities for an automated upcoming. There are now additional than 150 examples of ABB partnerships with educators in the United States, in which our robots, RobotStudio simulation and programming application and augmented truth and digital reality resources are used to educate learners of all ages the abilities necessary to application and use robotic automation.”

The foreseeable future

“Disruption and uncertainty are driving new business products, persuasive providers to consider otherwise about the way they run. Scalable, versatile and able of managing an increasing range of responsibilities, robots are getting to be the new paradigm in creating firms additional resilient in response to these exterior forces,” stated Bubnikovich.

“As this all unfolds, the productive implementation of robotic automation will demand a layer of qualified human engagement to attain the best feasible results. As new technologies carry on to make robots easier to use and deploy, we see 2023 as a year of opportunity that will enable organizations and their workforces to access new amounts of efficiency, effectiveness and overall flexibility.”

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