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Manufacturing sector urged to adopt robotics to improve product quality

Posted on March 6, 2013, Wednesday

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s manufacturing sector should adopt robotics in their assembly lines to improve product quality and gain competitive edge.

Universal Robots business development manager, Shermine Gotfredsen, said robots could allow the companies to expand their capabilities, reduce costs and increase production.

“When you keep costs low, you’re being productive in the sense that you’re growing the business with a competitive edge. And when your business grows, jobs are created as well,” she told Bernama.

Gotfredsen said it was not true that adopting robot solutions would reduce job opportunities.

“People are still required for machine handling, servicing and programming.

“The robots are convenient replacements in tedious or hazardous working conditions,” she said.

Gotfredsen said although robot usage in Malaysia was still low, the trend was changing.

“It is on the increase. The number of robots supplied to Malaysia rose between 2009 and 2010,” she said.

She said the government has also put in efforts to promote use of robots in the industrial sector.

“The Ministry of Education has been formulating plan to develop and accelerate robotic technology. The country also hosted the World Robotics Olympiad last year,” she said.

Gotfredsen said Malaysia was seen as a strong potential market for the company’s robots.

“Unlike existing machines, the company’s robots provide greater flexibility in the workplace. Traditional machines being used in the industry are usually heavy and difficult to manoeuvre.

“Our industrial robots offer innovative solutions which are user-friendly and flexible,” she said.

She said one of the company products, the six-axis Danish-made Universal Robots was well-received in US, UK, Germany and Japan.

It has a robotic arm that could easily be moved around by workers which gives an edge in terms of flexibility and mobility, she said.

Gotfredsen said the company expected to sell some 800 to 1,000 robot units globally this year.

The company has signed up two distributors here — Automation Systems & Services and Systech Control — as their distributors here. — Bernama

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