The use of collaborative robots (cobots) as a solution for automation has become increasingly popular in recent years among businesses in from diverse industries, regardless of their size. The need to increase the productivity and efficiency of operations in order to become more competitive has leaded companies focus on collaborative automation which has proven to be the optimal choice, both in terms of implementation and cost, due to the low purchase price. Collaborative robots can be quickly integrated and easily used in existing work processes, and the return on investment is very fast, being obtained between 6 and 15 months.
Europe is the region with the highest density of robots, with an average of 114 units per 10,000 employees. Romania has a density of 21 robots per 10,000 employees. In 2018, 3555 industrial robots operated in Romania, the vast majority of them, specifically 2155, being integrated in machine tending applications, pick and place, palletizing, screwing, quality inspection and testing. Another 630 carried out welding and soldering activities, the rest being engaged in assembly, processing and dispensing processes. Of the total operational robots, 3174 were active in the manufacturing area in different industries, as follows: 1843 in the automotive industry, 693 in the chemical and plastics industry, 234 in the metal industry, 173 in the ceramics and glass industry, 80 in the food and beverage industry, 13 in the wood industry, 22 in the electronics industry and 101 in other areas of manufacturing.
In Romania, the demand for collaborative robots is mainly determined by the automotive industry, with a share of over 55% of the total number of installations. Other local industries that use cobots are food, electronics, metal, logistics and pharmaceuticals. The cobots used in the Romanian automotive industry are integrated in pick and place, testing, machine tending, quality inspection, screwing and polishing applications. In the food industry they are used in pick and place and palletizing processes, in the electronic one for testing, assembly and machine tending. Companies operating in the local metal industry have integrated cobots that perform welding and sanding or polishing applications, while in the logistics and pharmaceutical industries they perform pick and place and palletizing tasks.
The diversity of the industries in which collaborative robots operate in Romania emphasizes their versatility and flexibility. By deploying cobots, the Romanian companies have increased their productivity level, obtaining at the same time a high quality of the products and becoming more competitive.
Among the companies that have implemented collaborative robots from Universal Robots in Romania are Ford Craiova, which has implemented UR10 cobots on the engine production line, where it performs operations of greasing the camshaft followers, filling the engine with oil and quality inspections, Alseca Engineering, manufacturer of automotive components, which uses the UR5 cobot to automate ultrasonic welding and milling applications, the transfer between operations being done in just 15 minutes, Becker Romania, furniture manufacturer for Ikea, where UR10 cobots handle glue dispensing and pick and place tasks, Assa Abloy, manufacturer of door locks, which has implemented UR3 and UR5 cobots in a wide range of applications, including welding, stamping, riveting, screwing, grinding and machine-tending.
A small company implements on average one, maximum two collaborative robots per year, and a medium company between three and six cobots per year.