PH needs to raise robotic adoption to compete in Asia, says Danish firm

By Rizal Raoul S. Reyes

A Danish robotics company said there is a pressing need for the Philippines to increase the adoption of robotic automation to enable the country to compete with Asia firms or even in Southeast Asia.

Universal Robots president for Southeast Asia and Oceania Shermine Gotfredsen

Shermine Gotfredsen, president for Southeast Asia and Oceania of Universal Robots (UR), stressed this point during a press briefing on Thursday, February 27, in Makati City.

Gotfredsen said robotic automation will boost various local industries such as manufacturing, automotive, and electronics as robotics will address issues on quality, productivity, efficiency, and wastage of materials.

But despite the low robotics implementation in the Philippines, Gotfredsen said the country remains a vital market because its adoption of UR’s collaborative robots (cobots) in electronics, automotive, and food and beverage industries has surpassed its expectations.

She said the Denmark-based company sees further potential for the country even as it trails behind its regional counterparts in automation adoption.

The International Federation of Robotics ranked Philippines among the lowest in the region for automation adoption with a robot density of three industrial robots installed per 10,000 employees in 2016. The country is behind Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia which has a robot density of 488 units, 45 units, and 34 units, respectively.

“The Philippines needs to seize automation opportunities to stay competitive and avoid losing ground to its neighbors. We are committed to supporting local businesses adopt our cobot solutions, working closely with our partners in the Philippines to make automation accessible to all,” said Gotfredsen.

“We offer free seminars and technical workshops on cobots in the Philippines and welcome local companies to learn how cobot technology can benefit their businesses,” the executive added.

UR has also formed a new partnership with local distributor Asia Integrated Machine (AIM) to provide a one-stop solution for various services such as processing, weighing, packaging, inspection, conveying, palletizing and warehousing.

The partnership will see AIM deploy and offer customized automation solutions comprising end-effectors and accessories for UR’s cobots.

With AIM on board, UR has now a total of two channel partners in the country. Its first local partner, Elixir Industrial Equipment, has been instrumental in growing the robotic firm’s distribution base in the country since 2016.

AIM president Albert W. Wang said the company will focus on providing new equipment and technology to help clients address growing manufacturing challenges such as rising operational and manpower costs.

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