TROY Intelligent

Where are the robots? ——From the sharp increase in robot output to see the evolution of China's manufacturing

Since the beginning of this year, the new crown pneumonia epidemic has spread around the world and hit the world economy severely, but the domestic robotics industry has bucked the trend. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the demand for industrial robots has continued to recover since March. The monthly output in September reached 23,200 units, an increase of 51.4% year-on-year, and the output hit a record high; the output of service robots also achieved a single month of more than 70% year-on-year Growth rate.

   Where have all these "newborn" robots gone? As a representative of advanced productivity in the field of intelligent manufacturing, which sectors are driving the rapid growth of the robotics industry, and what does it mean for China's manufacturing industry?
   Where are the robots?

"At present, about 60% of my country's industrial robots are used in the automobile manufacturing industry and the 3C electronics industry (that is, the computer, communications and consumer electronics industries)." said Liang Wanqian, executive deputy secretary general of the Guangzhou Industrial Robot Manufacturing and Application Industry Alliance, entering the second quarter. The recovery of these two major sectors has stabilized the basic board of industrial robots.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the cumulative year-on-year growth rate of fixed asset investment in my country’s computer, communications and other electronic equipment manufacturing industries has continued to increase since the first positive return in April. In the third quarter, it has remained above 10% for three consecutive months. The growth rate remained at a high level of 11.7% from August and January to September.

  In the automobile manufacturing industry, although the fixed asset investment in the automobile manufacturing industry still fell 16.7% year-on-year from January to September, the cumulative year-on-year decline has narrowed month by month since March.

"Lidar is the core component of all kinds of movable high-end intelligent equipment, including robots. It is equivalent to the "eyes" of these equipment. It is a global competitive product of high-end manufacturing. Through the window of Lidar, you can not only observe domestic Changes in the manufacturing industry can sometimes give a glimpse of global economic trends.” Li Yuan said that since July this year, the export volume of the company's lidar products in the European and American markets has rebounded.

According to statistics from the China Construction Machinery Industry Association, the sales of various excavators of the 25 excavator manufacturers included in the statistics in September this year increased by 64.8% year-on-year, of which domestic sales increased by 71.4% year-on-year, and exports increased by 31.3% year-on-year; from January to September , Excavator sales increased by 32% year-on-year, of which domestic sales increased by 33.2% year-on-year, and exports increased by 22.2% year-on-year.

The unmanned aerial vehicle, which is called "air robot" in the industry, is a kind of service robot and one of the application fields of lidar.

"After the domestic economy'restarted' this year, we have more orders than before. The demand for water conservancy and electric power inspections, environmental protection, security and other sectors has increased significantly." A person in charge of a drone company said that although the company's exports are currently affected The impact of the epidemic abroad, but the domestic demand is higher.

   In addition to the above-mentioned fields, the demand for robots in light industrial fields such as cables, cement, steel, furniture, building materials, medicines, masks and protective clothing has also increased this year.

   "With the further promotion of industrial robots in labor-intensive industries, the automotive manufacturing and 3C electronics industries are becoming smaller in the industrial robot market," said Liang Wanqian.

   In terms of service robots, since this year, service robots have further penetrated into all aspects of people's lives such as medical care, home furnishing, catering, logistics and warehousing, and sanitation. Enjoying the services of "little AI classmates" and sweeping robots has become a daily routine for ordinary people, and food delivery robots have also appeared in the canteens of some units.

Why is the demand for robots soaring?

  Analyzing the reasons for the sharp increase in robot production and demand this year is inseparable from the background of the epidemic.

"From the perspective of the increase in the production data of industrial robots in the second half of the year, there is a backlog of demand caused by the epidemic in the first half of the year, and the contribution of concentrated release after the full resumption of production in the second half of the year." Liang Wanqian said, but more importantly, the epidemic has affected labor-intensive companies. The concept of the person in charge has changed, and the pattern of labor supply has changed.

   In fact, before the outbreak of the epidemic, the problem of labor shortages in some cities has surfaced, and the pace of machine replacement has already begun, but the epidemic has accelerated this process.

   According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, at the end of the third quarter, my country’s rural migrant labor force totaled 179.52 million, a decrease of 3.84 million from the same period last year and a year-on-year decrease of 2.1%.

“After the outbreak, the return of personnel was restricted, causing some labor-intensive enterprises to have no one available and production to a halt. Although the domestic epidemic was effectively controlled later, considering the risk of repeated epidemics, some front-line workers finally chose Looking for work near home, I don’t want to go far.” Liang Wanqian said, this has made some companies determined to purchase robots and invest in intelligent production lines.
“The epidemic has accelerated the thinking of many units on unmanned operation.” The person in charge of the aforementioned drone company said that this year there was a large-scale flood in the south, and the demand for inspections of water conservancy and electricity increased. The inspection scope is larger, and non-contact inspection can be realized, which has become a realistic choice for relevant departments and enterprises.

   In addition, according to Liang Wanqian, after years of development in the domestic robotics industry, the cost has dropped significantly, and the cost performance has increased significantly. This has made some companies not only demand, but also capable of equipped with intelligent production equipment.

At the policy level, Ji Bingmeng believes that the new infrastructure plus some other policies in China, as well as China’s effective measures to control the epidemic, have created a very good business economic environment for China, enabling new technologies to be quickly adopted by enterprises. Contribute to sustainable economic restoration.
Robot industry is expected to grow further:

   Looking to the future, many experts are optimistic about the "growth of the robotics industry", believing that this is supported by both policy and market demand.

   The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee put forward the main goals of economic and social development during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, and clearly included "significant improvement in innovation capability, advanced industrial foundation, and significant improvement in the modernization level of the industrial chain".
The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the People’s Bank of China recently jointly issued the "Implementation Opinions on Supporting Private Enterprises to Accelerate the Reform, Development, Transformation and Upgrading" and proposed the implementation of robots And smart equipment promotion plan.

   At the local level, there is no shortage of support plans for the robotics industry. Take Beijing as an example. In June this year, the Beijing Economic Development Zone formulated a new industrial plan, proposing to further promote the four leading industries to achieve the output value of 600 billion yuan, including robotics and intelligent manufacturing.

   The Chinese Institute of Electronics predicts that my country’s service robot market is expected to exceed US$4 billion in 2020.

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