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128 . Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

Mitchell Hutchins Inc.

As users became more sophisticated, they assumed greater responsibility

the

system.

A

service

segment

began

to

evolve

about

a

decade

later

as

for the integration of the indicated base of

the product grew.

The robot industry appears to be developing along the same lines.

Currently,

two manufacturers,

Unimation

(subsidiary of Condec)

and Cincinnati

70% of

the market.

(Table

11).

These

companies

are

four

to

Milacron, dominate the five times larger than

industry with an estimated the nearest competitor

Table

11:

Estimated

1980

U.S.

Robot Sales by Manufacturer

DeVilbiss (Champion Spark Plug)

9.0

ASEA (U.S. Operation)

7.5

Unimation Cincinnati Milacron (Condec)

Sales Millions $ 40.0 30.0

6.0 4.5 0.7 0.7 0.4 1.2 100.0

PRAB AutoPlace Nordson Mobot Automatix Other

(Copperweld)

Total

Source:

PWMH.

Purchasers during the early marketing stages worked with the robot supplier in order to inte- grate robots into the manufacturing process and occasionally outside consultants were used be- cause of the lack of support available for the process.

Over the past several years, U.S. manufacturers have shown increasing interest in the concept of families of parts for greater manufacturing efficiency. This has heightened the interest of Us. companies in flexible manufacturing systems and manufacturing cells with the primary goal of generating a high level of production of a wide range of family components with the flexibility to change, a capability previously available only with a sharp reduction of output. This change in the manufacturing concept has refocused the efforts of robot manufacturers

toward the growing areas of applications and Inc. and Robogate Systems Inc. , were founded robots into flexible manufacturing systems.

systems.

on

the

Moreover,

concept

of

new “companies such

turnkey

installations

as Automatix, integrating

% of Robots Purchased by Users with Assistance of Outside Independent Consultants Doing Systems Engineering

1980

1985 15%

1990 15%

% of Robots Procured as a Turnkey Packaqe with One-Source Layout, Robot Supply and Installation

20

25

30

Purchaser Procures on Individual Basis; Purchaser Assumes Responsibility for Layout and Inteqration with Installation Done by Equipment Manufacturer

80

70

70

The likely evolution of these developments can probably be illustrated by the responses of U.S. manufacturers to the 1981 SME Delphi Forecast for Robotics (Table 12). In essence, the purchasers of robots will continue to make use of independent consultants, but also will turn more and more to turnkey system suppliers during the 1980s.

Source:

1981

SME

Delphi

Forecast

  • --

    Median

Results.

Table 12: for Robot

Users Will Seek More Help Integration (Median Estimate)

10

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