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Industry 4.0 to fuel rapid robotic growth in Irish manufacturing

Published: 11 January 2019 - Sarah Mead

Industrial robot manufacturer predicts significant growth in Irish factory automation over the next 12 months.

A leading manufacturer of industrial robots and solutions for factory automation is predicting Ireland will experience significant growth in robotics and collaborative robotics over the next 12 months.

Colin Dullaghan, Head of Robot Sales Ireland at KUKA Robotics has said he expects the continued evolution of Industry 4.0 will lead to further growth in robotics and cobotics across Ireland as we move closer and closer to the smart factory. Robotics and collaborative robotics enable manufacturers to not only cut costs but also deliver greater efficiency on a global scale. According to recent figures from CONFIRM, The SFI Research Centre for smart manufacturing, Irish manufacturing currently accounts for€110 billion in exports.

Dullaghan was speaking ahead of this year’s National Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition, which takes place at the Citywest Convention Centre on the 17th of January.

Over 4,000 key decision makers,150 speakers, 300 exhibitors and 100 investors are expected to turnout to the conference and exhibition which will place a huge emphasis on Industry 4.0 and Brexit this year.

Industry 4.0, often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It consists of cloud and cognitive computing, IoT and cyber physical systems among others.

Speaking about the evolution of smart factories and robotics in Ireland, Dullaghan says ‘We will continue to see new and innovative ideas in robotics and collaborative robotics, and we should see the technologies both lead the opportunities and arrive to answer to the demand. Mobile robotics is a continuously developing technology. While there are many possibilities to introduce mobile robotics in the current factory set up, I believe the design of the smart Irish factory will incorporate the infrastructures to enable significant growth of these technologies. Both collaborative and mobile robotic technologies act as key pillars in Industry 4.0. They will help define the future of smart, connected, optimized and intelligent factories. Automation has many key benefits including increased productivity, better product quality, higher production rates, improved lead times and improved safety.’

Dullaghan adds ‘What is more important for Ireland is that we are aware of the global drive towards intelligence beyond automation and the smart factory. We must continue to embrace the arrival of these technologies and continue to introduce and improve automation and robotic automation where it is most applicable, therefore harnessing the most valuable use of all other skills and technologies to remain highly competitive.’

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