Worldwide conglomerates and huge corporations headquartered in major industrialized countries have an inherent edge in the global marketplace. Their ability to take advantage of economies of scale, their access to lucrative local and international markets, their ability to acquire the latest technology, and having the first pick of skilled labor make it difficult for smaller companies, especially those in rural areas and developing countries, to compete.
But we can see that times are changing and smaller companies and those that face other challenges are finding ways to take their perceived disadvantages and turn them into advantages. Among other things, their proximity to local markets and their relative agility allow them to adapt quickly to market trends.
How? By keeping their ears to the ground, by reacting faster, and by working smarter – thanks in part to investments in technology that can help “disadvantaged” companies overcome barriers competing with much larger players.
Enter the cobot
One technology that is helping these smaller companies compete is collaborative robots (cobots). Where costly industrial robots are still out of reach for small players, cobots are affordable, versatile, and easy to integrate into work processes with no need for major renovations or costly installation projects.
At Universal Robots we have always seen the potential for cobots to level the playing field for smaller companies, manufacturers in developing nations, and businesses in areas where labor is scarce. It’s one of the reasons we launched the cobot back in 2008. The other reason was the potential for cobots to help liberate factory workers from dull, repetitive, and even dangerous work that does not take advantage of uniquely human creativity and ingenuity.
Today, the equalizing power of cobots is widely recognized.
We’ve been saying it for a decade, and an increasing number of businesses – of all sizes – are starting to see the light. Cobots and other affordable automation technologies will play an increasingly critical role in helping the world’s wealth of smaller businesses and other companies that face special challenges compete with global giants.