07 Nov 2022, 03:36

How Automation and Robotics Changed the Face of the Retail Industry

Centuries of humankind have witnessed amazing technological leaps. Since the industrial revolution took place in the decade 1760 - 1850 until the current industrial revolution 4.0, humans have continuously expanded their horizons of discovery through machines developed to meet various industrial needs.

So in the history of industrial society we see various technological inventions that were created to make it easier for humans to do their daily tasks. 

The invention of the wheel, lever and pulley, for example, is cited as an important early invention for the development of industrial society. 

Then more complex industrial machines were created, and came the era known as 'automation' starting in the 1940s. 

The era of 'automation' was originally defined as a process in which certain mechanisms are used to perform tasks that require human presence and supervision. 

As technology develops, the meaning of 'automation' expands. Now automation systems are used to make it easier to carry out a series of tasks - such as moving stock of goods, checking warehouse stock quantities, moving goods - which previously had to be handled directly by workers. 

Have you ever seen a robot placed in a factory to help move objects from one point to another, as seen in the video below?


In this example, we clearly see the combination of 'robot' and 'automation' technologies to replace tasks that were previously handled by warehouse workers.

The Growth of the Robotic Industry 

Whether we realize it or not, since the term 'automation' was first used in the 1940s, industrial society then entered a phase where robots became part of industrial and everyday life. 

Zippia's research published on October 5, 2022 released a number of interesting statistics, one of which is the 2.7 million industrial robots that have been used globally in various companies. 

This figure tends to increase from year to year, and is projected to continue to grow until 2028. This is reflected in the market capitalization value of the robot industry which is projected to increase, from US$ 92.8 billion in 2022 to US$ 163.5 billion in 2028

. According to the same research, the majority of the robots used are industrial robots. In other words, industrial fields such as automobile assembly, manufacturing, and even medical, are gradually using robots to help carry out tasks that were previously handled by humans. 

Regarding the industrial sector that uses robotic technology, automotive is still the sector that uses robots the most. Globally in 2017, for example, the automotive industry uses 900,000 robots, followed by the electronics and chemical and plastics industries with 600,000 and 200,000 robots, respectively. 

Next in line are metal product industries, manufacturing, industrial machinery, food and beverages, basic metals, glass and mineral products, as well as education/research/development.

Although the use of robots in various industrial fields continues to increase, the types of robot technology used in various types of industries are different from each other. 

Still citing Zippia's research and survey, 55% of companies that use robotic technology choose to use the concept of collaborative robots; or in other words, they use robots designed to work with humans.

We can take an example, for example the use of robots in a warehouse that is used to move goods from one shelf to another. 

In such a scheme, robots collaborate with humans who act as supervisors to ensure that the robot does not malfunction during operation.

Why Collaborative Robots?

The development of collaborative robots cannot be separated from the development of digital technology. Mutualism between the two fields provides many advantages for certain industries, especially those that have factories for manufacturing purposes. 

Citing the article The Impact of the Use of Industrial Robots on Efficiency Increase written by Bülent Eker and Ayşegül Eker, the advantages of collaborative robots are reflected in the following 5 points: 

  1. Robots used in manufacturing processing provide work efficiency, starting from the upstream (eg handling raw materials) downstream (finished product packaging). 
  2. Robots can be operated 24 hours and 7 days a week, if the company requires a continuous production system. 
  3. Robotic equipment and technologies are highly flexible and can be programmed to meet specific industry needs. 
  4. Robotic technology can be used by companies of various scales, from small, medium, to large companies.  
  5. Following the fact that today's robot technology tends to be used more and more, various companies need to implement automation in order to be more competitive. 

Industrial Robotics Integration from Thrive

With the rapid development of technology and robotic systems, as well as the fact that more and more industries are adopting the use of robots, it is clear that the use of these technologies cannot be underestimated. 

Thrive offers a range of industrial robotics integration services that combine creativity with technology through the most advanced robots to get the right and effective solution for the industry you are in.

Starting from welding, metal cutting, painting, and panel fabrication and electrical assembly, the Thrive team is equipped with extensive experience in preparing mechanical technology and robotic assembly to facilitate the management of your warehouse or factory.

You can learn about our robotics integration service by visiting the following link


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