American manufacturing enterprises increase the use of robots and automation
Due to the shortage of workers due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many manufacturing businesses in the US are spending heavily on robots and promoting automation.

Orders for industrial robots in the US increased 40% in the first quarter of 2022 from the same period a year ago, according to the American Association for the Development of Automation, which represents the robotics industry there. The growth in robot orders in the US will increase by 22% in 2021.

Thanks to a large workforce and stable wages, many manufacturing enterprises in the US are not in a hurry to use many robots. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the percentage of robots used per 10,000 workers in the US is still behind some other developed countries such as Korea, Japan and Germany. The largest use of robots in North America is still the automotive industry.

However, the share of robot orders in the auto industry has decreased from 71% in 2016 to 42% in 2021, while some other industries such as food, home appliances and pharmaceuticals tend to use more robots. Rising wages and labor shortages are causing some manufacturing companies in the US to change their views on robotics and automation.

Delphon Industries – a company specializing in the production of chip packaging equipment, medical equipment and industrial film products – lost about 40% of its production days in January 2022 when many workers and employees contracted Covid-19 . This problem prompted Delphon to buy three more robots at the beginning of the year.

Mr. Joe Montano – CEO of Delphon Industries – said that Delphon started leasing robots four years ago to reduce initial costs. Currently, Delphon has a total of 10 robots, including 4 cobots that work and interact directly with humans.

2 cobots reduces the number of people needed to print to the device from 3 to 1 and saves $16,000 per month. The use of robots also helps Delphon increase the number of orders delivered by 15% in 2020 and 2021 without hiring additional workers.

Athena Manufacturing, a business that manufactures and processes metal equipment for the chip, energy and aerospace industries, has purchased seven robots in the past 18 months due to increased orders and a shortage of workers. In 30 minutes, a $225,000 weld-sharpening robot can complete the job that would take a worker three hours, helping Athena to meet the surge in orders.

Michael Cicco, CEO of industrial robot supplier Fanuc America, said: “Robots are gradually becoming easier to use. Companies used to think that automation was too difficult, or too costly to implement.”

And economics professor Daron Acemoglu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes that increased automation will lead to a surplus of workers and drag down wages, unless other economic sectors in the US can absorb it. labor supply from the manufacturing industry.

Tung Phong (According to The Wall Street Journal)