The evolution of automated manufacturing is leading to a paradigm shift away from manual metrology solutions to automated metrology solutions, according to research by Frost & Sullivan.
With the integration of inspections into shop-floor processes, the report says there is a need to perform measurements without human intervention to minimise errors and reduce the time required for inspections. This triggers the demand for robot-based metrology tools across industries.
The analysis finds that robot-based metrology system providers should work closely with automobile manufacturers to enable product innovation and ensure safety and manufacturing standards compliance, develop systems that allow factory simulation to stay in sync with the physical space to realise end-to-end factory visibility, and also invest in expanding their product portfolio with advanced software capabilities.
Automated manufacturing is evolving
According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, Global Robot-based Metrology Growth Opportunities, the buoyant global robot-based metrology market will likely reach US$396.2mn by 2026 from US$189.9mn in 2021, registering an impressive expansion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8%.
“With Industry 4.0, automated manufacturing is evolving and further paving the way for automated measurements,” said Shruti Bapusaheb Yewale, Industrial Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Additionally, it will be critical for industries to integrate measurement and closed-loop control with automated manufacturing processes in the next five years.
Despite initial investment into automation technology being costly, the long-term cost reduction heavily outweighs the cost of the technology. Implementing industrial automation technology, such as robotics and RPA, has the potential to translate into a reduction in data analytics costs.
Unplanned downtime costs manufacturers US$2mn a year on average. Faulty machines can also damage products during production, which can be costly with things as expensive as cars. Consequently, using AI to prevent these situations could result in substantial savings.
Over time, AI can analyse maintenance trends to highlight when it’s time to replace or upgrade machines.
Manufacturing as a whole is facing a substantial labour shortage. If current trends persist, there could be 2.1 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2030. Industries could automate more of their processes, allowing them to do more despite a smaller workforce.
“As manufacturers ramp up production and focus on maximising product quality, the demand for engineers with the right skill sets will surge,” Yewale adds. “However, the shortage of such technicians will further compel companies to adopt automation through robotics in metrology, particularly in North America and Europe."