© Universal Robots Electronics Production | May 27, 2019
Universal Robots eyes Malaysia’sindustry 4.0 potential
Denmark-based Universal Robots, a provider of cobots, has identified Malaysia as a key growth market in line with the country’s increased focus on automation and robotics to transform its manufacturing sector.
The country’s manufacturing sector, which comprises of 98.5% of SMEs, is a major contributor to the country’s economy. In 2018, the sector contributed 22.4 % of its GDP, according to information from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, given during the launch of the National Policy on Industry 4.0 known as Industry4WRD. “Malaysia deployed just 45 units of industrial robots per 10,000 employees in 2017, almost 50 percent below the global average of 85 units. In a 2017 FMM-MIER survey, only 7.4 percent of Malaysian respondents used autonomous robots – 23.3 percent of which were SMEs,” says Sakari Kuikka, General Manager, Southeast Asia and Oceania at UR, in a press release. “We see huge potential to boost the adoption of robotic automation as the country focuses on strengthening its manufacturing sector and gearing towards becoming a developed nation,” he adds. Since its entry into the Malaysian market in 2013, UR has actively expanded its distribution base. Its cobots are distributed by Bizit Systems, EPCO Precision, Multitrade Asiapac, Servo Dynamics, T.E.M. Engineering and TMS Collaboration Automation. As Universal Robots sees it, Malaysia ranks high in the region in terms of Industry 4.0 readiness and points joint report by the World Economic Forum and research firm A.T. Kearney, published in September of 2018. “However, this is not the sentiment shared by SMEs who are slow to adopt these technologies. Among the challenges they face included lack of understanding of automation benefits and low awareness on government funding to assist with tech adoption. Last year, about RM5bil was set aside by the government to help businesses embrace smart technology including automation and robotics,” says Sakari Kuikka. “We recognise these challenges and are working closely with our partners who have the expertise to assess, recommend and implement appropriate robotics solutions, particularly for companies new to automation.” Cobots are the fastest growing segment of industrial automation, expected to rise ten-fold to 34% of all industrial robot sales by 2025, according to the International Federation of Robotics.