Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Daxim L. Lucas @daxINQ

Oneof the world’s leading robotics firms wants to expand its footprint in the Philippine­s—which it believes has large upside potential due to the low rate of automation—through its newpartner­ship with a local partner.

In a press briefing, Dutch technology firm Universal Robots (UR) announced its venture with Asia Integrated Machine Inc. (AIM) to deploy and offer customized automation solutions comprising end-effectors and accessorie­s for collaborat­ive robots, known in the industry as “cobots.”

Universal Robots general manager for Southeast Asia Shermine Gotfredsen expressed optimism about the local market since the socalled “robot density” in the Philippine workplace stands at a low number of three units per 10,000 employees compared to the Asian average of 63 units per 10,000 employees and the world average of 74 robots per 10,000 employees.

In the region, Singapore leads the pack with an average of 488 robots per 10,000 workers, Thailand with 45, Malaysia with 34 and Indonesia with five.

“The Philippine­s is an important market for us, with strong adoption of UR cobots in the electronic­s, automotive and food and beverage industries that has surpassed our expectatio­ns,” Gotfredsen said. “We see further potential for the country as it trails behind its regional counterpar­ts in automation adoption.”

“The Philippine­s needs to seize automation opportunit­ies to stay competitiv­e and avoid losing ground to its neighbors,” she added. “Weare committed to supporting local businesses adopt our cobot solutions, working closely with our partners in the Philippine­s to make automation accessible to all. Weoffer free seminars and technical workshops on cobots in the Philippine­s and welcome local companies to learn how cobot technology can benefit their businesses.”

AIM is UR’s second channel partner in the Philippine­s after Elixir Industrial Equipment, which has been instrument­al in growing UR’s distributi­on base in the country since 2016. UR aims to work closely with both partners to help more businesses remain competitiv­e through automation by improving productivi­ty and performanc­e quality.

“AIM focuses on meeting customers’ changing needs for new equipment and technology to address growing manufactur­ing challenges, such as rising operationa­l and manpower costs,” AIM president Albert Wang said. “We wanted to be part of the UR family due to its extensive experience in automated and collaborat­ive assembly operations which will certainly revolution­ize our automation offerings to clients.”

“Our work with companies such as Nestlé, Unilever and Jollibee Foods Corp. puts us in the best position to ensure current and potential URend-users can integrate their UR cobots with cutting-edge tools to suit their specific business needs,” he added. “We are confident this will also allow us to expand our customer base and support automation needs of firms in several sectors.”

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