Computer literacy and employee upskilling in other countries has helped encourage cobot uptake. Japan has a strong record in mechanical and control systems but IT skills are also becoming
more widespread – a trend which is likely to drive cobot uptake. Here too, Universal Robots and its partners are able to help. Integrator iCOM Giken for example is not only removing barriers for cobot automation of palletizing an
d welding, it also functions as a UR-certified training center and focuses on decreasing the cost of system development by helping users build their own robot systems.
Tsuyoshi Yamane, General Manager for Japan at Universal Robots, says companies introducing cobot technology typically share some key features: “Many are concerned about or already facing labor shortages and they are all making management decisions based on longer-term perspectives to remain competitive. They see the benefits of bringing cobots to work alongside people and they are usually looking to automate non-ergonomic tasks to create a more comfortable workplace for employees.”
Building a resistant manufacturing system with cobots
Fujita Works, which specializes in high-precision sheet metal work, has succesfully divided the welding process into pre-welding and permanent welding, with pre-welding undertaken by workers and permanent welding tasks done by robots. Usually, it takes more than three years to master welding, but with the introduction of UR cobots, even young workers have been able to master welding techniques in a few months. Ms. Emi Wakita, a welder at Fujita Works, said, "It's been my dream to be in charge of welding for a long time, and I'm very happy that now I can not only do it manually, but also with a robot.” Fujita Works has also automated the feeding of workpieces into the press brake processing machine, improving work efficiency, reducing the physical burden on workers, and increasing job satisfaction.