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There are three "die-hards" that need to be addressed in the Robot Revolution

There are three "die-hards" that need to be addressed in the Robot Revolution

2016-03-18 00:00
Since the German government officially put forward the concept of industrial 4.0 in 2013, we have begun to imagine and discuss the picture of robots completely replacing human work in the industrial 4.0 era. Since the release of Made in China 2025, which encourages and guides enterprises to transform and upgrade, and promotes intelligent development, China's pace towards industrial 4.0 has been accelerating day by day.
 
However, many people worry that the situation of "robots make people lose their jobs" does not seem to have any intention of coming. Most of the vivid machines are just some advanced factories in the news reports. Foxconn's factories have moved and moved, and the slogan of the Million Robots Project is much bigger than it really is. Large-scale robot replacement has not been achieved.
 
Increasing industrial costs, fluctuating market needs and national policies to encourage transformation show the need for machine replacement. We all know the truth, but why is it so slow and difficult for machines to change people?
 
Funds: Traditional machine replacement investment is too high
 
Industrial robots used in industry are not like service robots used in families: they can buy one for hundreds of dollars. Let's make an account. The uniaxial track manipulator used in industry, coupled with a set of servo control, can only achieve a horizontal movement function, which is thousands of yuan cheap and tens of thousands of yuan precise. If we want to achieve three-dimensional action and add more functions (grasping, moving, placing, etc.), we should conservatively estimate 100,000 yuan. Assuming that a robot can replace three workers, a medium-sized factory with about 300 people will have to invest 50 million yuan to replace half of the machines.
 
In fact, the cost of machine replacement is much higher than our rough calculation.
 
 
 
Robots are too expensive
 
The revamping technology of robot production line is very strict. Robots may be useless after the target product is finished, or even half of the order is reduced. If other products are to be produced, the transformation of the production line of robots is a big and troublesome project. In recent years, affected by the fluctuation of market and orders, Xiaobian once made a non-standard manipulator equipment for a factory, which cost about 100,000 yuan. The factory pulled the machine and used it for less than a week. The production order was finished and the machine was idle.
 
The advantage of using workers is "plug and play". They can change jobs at any time, and a little training can be transferred from one product to another. Employees are recruited when orders are large and some employees are laid off when orders are small. Enterprises can operate flexibly.
 
Therefore, in order to completely transform the traditional production line into the effect of robot replacement, the investment cost will be very high, it will take several years to see the benefits, the return time is too long, so that many small and medium-sized manufacturers lack of funds are discouraged.
 
Equipment: Lack of core technology for robots
 
China's industrial technology is weak and lacks the core technology of science and technology, especially robots.
 
The core of the robot is the motor, and the core technology of the motor is in the hands of foreign enterprises. According to the report of the International Robotics Federation, the number of robots in China accounts for one third of the total number of robots in the world, but most of them are brand names of Germany, Japan, the United States and other countries. Chinese brand robots mostly use foreign core parts, and then assemble themselves, lacking technological competitiveness. Although domestic robots are cheap, data show that the average trouble-free time of domestic robots is 8000 hours, while foreign brands can reach 50,000 hours.
 
With the deepening globalization of information and economy, foreign brands are also aware of the huge potential of China's robotic market. International giants have set up strategic bases in China, which has a great impact on China's independent R&D technology.
 
Only when the core technology is in their hands can the cost and threshold of machine replacement be lowered.
 
Talents: Shortage of Professional and Technical Talents
 
The so-called machine replacement and "unmanned factory" are not totally unmanned. It is unavoidable that a variety of faults will occur during the operation of the machine. The system design and transformation of the robot also need the skilled technicians with professional knowledge. According to statistics, an average of 10 robots in the automotive industry need a technical service person, while an average of 5-6 robots in the non-automotive industry need a technical service person.
 
However, China's talent cultivation work has always been insufficient to meet the market. On the one hand, robots have high technology content and extensive professional knowledge. In addition, there are obvious differences among robots in various industries, which lead to difficulties and long-term training of robots. On the other hand, the state and individuals do not attach enough importance to the knowledge reserve of robots. In recent years, although they have begun to advocate the development of high-tech, the personnel training mechanism of enterprises is still not sound enough, which often leads to brain drain.
 
The lack of technical service personnel in the robotics industry also indirectly increases the cost of robot replacement, resulting in the difficulty of machine replacement.
 
 
 
Professional training is a big problem
 
summary
 
It's not that you don't want to change machines. It's really impossible for an enterprise to do that. Xiaobian believes that machine replacement is not only an enterprise's own business, but also the historical task of the whole country's industry. The introduction of development resources, the issuance of guidance policies and the assistance of enterprise transformation still need another push by the state before the door of industrial 4.0.

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