Wanted: Productivity, quality and safety
Some of these upcoming segments are food and beverage, metalworking, pharma, and electronics.
The electronic industry is growing especially fast in Brazil where the main driver for automation is the ambition to increase productivity in a high-demand sector as well as securing quality. Quality is also the main driver in the pharmaceutical sector and therefore cobots are chosen as they have extremely high precision.
Another area where cobots and automation can make a huge difference in Brazil is worker safety. According to data from the Brazilian Ministry of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Observatory, the accidents and deaths related to the formal labor market in Brazil grew on average by 30% in 2021 compared to 2020, showing there is an evident need for innovations that can contribute to improving the safety of workers taking on hazardous tasks.
This can be done by automating e.g. palletizing, welding or machine tending tasks, minimizing the danger of accidents and injuries. But in Brazil we’re also seeing robots being used in untraditional sectors such as steel mills and industries related to mining in order to better the safety of operators. An example of this is steel plant company USIMINAS who deployed a UR10eto apply paint to metallic coils, obtaining excellent results. The factory was able to achieve annual paint savings of R$130,000.00. Currently, the cobot has marked over 100,000 coils, which has increased safety in the workspace as workers no longer have to worry about freehand marking on heavy parts. In fact, this solution was so successful it was patented.
In all of these cases, the purpose of automating is to prevent people from doing dirty and dangerous jobs that people simply shouldn’t be doing when we have robot technology that can easily take over and safeguard the workers.
Robot education is key
Another important step on Brazil’s automation journey is education and the Brazilian government has launched several initiatives to include robotics teaching in schools and educational institutions.
Since 2018, Universal Robots has sold over 200 UR3e to SENAI (the National Industrial Training Service) which has over 2 million students and professionals enrolled. And to reach the young generations SESI (Social Service of Industry) have purchased more than 20 cobots to be used in schools in Minas Gerais State for students between the age of 7 to 17.
This education of not only the current workforce but also future generations is crucial if Brazil is to evolve into a major player on the global robotics scene. The first steps have been taken and cobots are already helping Brazilian businesses to grow and improve conditions for workers. With a population of more than 200 million and the leading economy in South America, Brazil has got all the ingredients to become an automation powerhouse with all the benefits it will bring.