Universal Robots to tap MSMEs

Last Updated 18 February 2016, 17:06 IST

Denmark-headquartered Universal Robots aims to tap small industries in tier II/III towns across India, a top company executive said.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald, Universal Robots General Manager (India) Pradeep S David said, “We are in talks with smaller industries like auto component and packaging industries that have presence in tier II/III towns across the country. By the next financial year, we have a target of selling 100 robots in India.”

David added, “If you take major car and two-wheeler companies in India, they don’t make all parts. They outsource their work to small OEMs(Original Equipment Manufacturers). For instance, there are seat makers, hub caps, and so on. After doing Research and Development (R&D), auto companies recommend our robots and we will automate their machines.”

Besides automobile sector, the company caters to electronics, metal, chemical, food and packaging industries.

Low cost cobots

Universal Robots doesn’t intend to compete with global major such as Fanuc, ABB and Kuka’s, but instead plans to target the micro, small and medium enterprises with low cost in terms of life-cycle robots, which start at Rs 12-15 lakh for three variants - 3kg, 5kg and 10kg pay load.

The company calls its robots as cobots (collaboratively work with operator hand-in-hand).

Universal Robots was acquired by Teradyne for $285 million in 2015. Globally, Universal Robots has sold over 7,000 cobots. It has a production capacity of 33,000 units per year.

The company, which entered India in 2009, has sold over 200 robots so far, and is all set to display five robots for customers at Manyata Tech Park in Bengaluru soon.

India is slow in adopting robots, says David, adding they are not going to replace jobs. “Human creativity is very critical in manufacturing and we are enabling it. China has understood this concept well and is a way ahead.”

According to industry estimates, China purchased 75,000 robots last year when compared with 2,800 units procured by India.

(Published 18 February 2016, 17:06 IST)

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