Taking the local manufacturing and production to the next level, Denmark’s Universal Robots, which entered the country in 2016, expressed its plans to further expand to different sectors in Sri Lanka.
They said that they are expecting to sell over 100 cobots (robots) in Sri Lanka in the next three years.
Already they have installed 10 cobots in the country in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and textile sectors. Talking at a media briefing, a local biscuit company, which is already in the process of mechanisation, said that after installing the cobots its productivity has increased by three times. The company also said that it also has enhanced the quality of its products.
Sri Lanka General Manager Pardeep David said that some of their Indian customers like Bajaj Auto (has about 150 cobots) and Aurolabs have hired 80 percent of women employees, who are conveniently working with cobots, where the physically challenging parts of the jobs are taken care by cobots.
“We are hoping to replicate the same in Sri Lanka by creating interesting occupation categories such as machine operator, supervisors, etc. that would surely increase the willingness of women here to take up those jobs,” he said.
Through a presentation, he showed how the cobots can be used for medical purposes, construction, manufacturing and even for food preparing.
However, it was noted that through this labours would not be fully eliminated but can be considered as the next tool in the tool box. Techfeild (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director Sugath Jayatilake said that for a developing country like Sri Lanka, cobots are the right way to go, especially for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
He said that they see a large potential for cobots in the Sri Lankan market.
The benefits of the cobots as noted were simple to programme, easy installation, flexible deployment, energy efficiency, less noise, etc.
The prices of the cobots will be Rs.3.5 million to Rs.5 million. Further, it was noted that they annually produce about 33,000 cobots annually in Denmark.
Universal Robots was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO Esben Ostergaard. (ZZ)