Rapid changes in the automotive industry are driving the development of radical robotics solutions. Electrification, automation and customisation all require automakers and suppliers to take a fresh look at their manufacturing processes to retain their competitive edge.
However, an increasingly common theme in discussions about increasing automation in vehicle production is the need for robots to assist, not replace, the existing human workforce; where once automation was seen as a replacement for humans, now it is widely seen as an enhancer of human labour, taking on the so-called 3Ds of manufacturing—work that is dirty, dangerous and dull.
Indeed, the much-anticipated lights-out factory—an entirely automated assembly line—may never be fully realised in the automotive industry, with some automakers even de-automating certain processes. Growth in robot sales across all industry sectors is steep, with no slowdown in sight, but in the automotive industry, at least, people will continue to play an important role.
In this report:
- Executive summary
- How robots may help automakers finally realise Industry 4.0
- Automaker snapshot: who’s doing what with robots
- Forget the lights-out factory: humans will remain essential for vehicle manufacturing
- Automakers need robots that deliver universal solutions and flexibility
- Cobots are a crucial step on the path to AI-driven automation
- Automotive stamping is an increasingly sophisticated business
- Cost and impact: assembly line robots hit the sweet spot
- Maximising robotic paint shop potential will require human intelligence
- Why in-plant logistics robots are quickly becoming essential
- Digitally linking robots can enable safer, more efficient manufacturing
‘Special report: A fresh look at robots in vehicle manufacturing’ provides insight from a range of automotive industry stakeholders, including:
- Oliver Wyman
- Universal Robots
- Volvo Car