“Countries that rely on robots have lower unemployment.”

the bots There is no going back, but the debate about its social impact is open. In addition, Spain has lost positions in recent years in the penetration of these devices into its production fabric, which are rarely present in small companies. head of the Spanish Association of Robotics and Automation (AER)And Salvador Girocome to Global Chronicle To put figures and arguments on the table.

– Question: What is the health of robots in Spanish industry?

– Answer: For many years, Spain has been among the top 15 countries in the number of robots, in part due to its widespread use in the automotive sector. But robots have been integrated into other sectors such as metallurgy, PackagingPharmaceutical and electronic. According to the most recent data we have, in 2021 the number of bots installed globally has grown significantly, 31%, while in Spain it has only grown by 1%. Regarding 2018, the data is similar: global growth is higher than that of Spain. In 2021 the number of bots installed per year in Spain decreased from 14th to 12th place, in total number of bots we have gone from 9 to 10 and in number of bots per 1000 employees we have gone from 14th to 19th.

Q: Can this be attributed to the vehicle’s weight loss?

– In Spain, robots have been placed in large companies, while in other countries they have also been placed in small and medium-sized companies. Here they didn’t get too far into SMEs. From the Spanish Association of Robotics, Automation and Advanced Factory we are trying to enter the world of small companies, which ultimately make up 99% of the Spanish productive fabric. We want to replicate a project that started in France in 2013, which was called Robot Start PME, to promote the entry of the first robot into small and medium enterprises. The idea is to launch a statewide, interdepartmental grant program players Similar to the Moves plan, so that industrial small and medium enterprises can purchase the first automated system. According to the French, their industrial GDP has grown by two points at this time.

– Is it too expensive to adapt production centers to this technology?

– There are many types of robots. Of the huge ones to move large volumes, the price of which is high, but then there are cooperative bots or cobots Which can also be with operator. It is not that they have become commodity, but they don’t have a huge cost, far from it. There are also many mobile robots that do not have an excessively high price tag. In addition, it must be borne in mind that they provide greater competitiveness and productivity for companies. The important thing is to prioritize the activities you want to automate.

Salvador Giro, President of AER (Spanish Association of Robotics and Automation) / CEDIDA

Is modernizing the assembly line as cumbersome as installing solar panels on the roof of the factory?

– That’s not the problem, it’s not stressful at all. Also, when a manufacturing line is assembled, it only serves one function. On the other hand, if you install bots you can reprogram them for use on another site. This is one of its advantages: portability for use in different back-to-back projects.

Robotics and recruitment. Goldman Sachs recently predicted that Chat GPT threatened 25% of jobs in the Eurozone and the United States. Should workers be afraid?

–no. The countries with the highest rate of bots are the ones with the lowest unemployment rate. We are talking about South Korea, Japan, Germany, China … It turns out that wherever robots are installed, production naturally increases and, accordingly, shifts should be increased and more staff should be hired. True, the type of work is changing. Robots are replacing difficult, repetitive and dangerous tasks. What needs to be done is having a template training plan.

– but more manual jobs he performs blue collarAre they consumers in the robot factory?

– Yes, but in return you need some kind of more prepared professionals, which we don’t have now. I’ve been the founder and CEO of a synthetic vision company for 30 years and one of my big problems is finding talent. Really, all AER partners are facing the same issue. This is why we have created a job bank within the association.

– If there is such a high demand, why does supply fail?

– On the other hand, there are not enough university students leaving for the labor market. In addition, foreign companies come to settle here that are in the same game. Secondly, in the plans for professional training, bots have not yet had an insignificant weight. And thirdly, there is a lack of vocations, and they are acquired as a child. Robotics, computing, technology… you have to start in school. If boys and girls who are now ten years old were not taught these techniques, we would not have these professions.

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