Robotics were the central focus of the initiative’s plan with the national goals set for the year 2025 for manufacturing 100,000 industrial robots a year, and for 2020, accomplishing the operation of 150 robots for every 10,000 employees.
While currently china ranks at number 28 globally for robot density, more and more factories in China are switching from humans to robots in a new revolution of industrial automation.
In southern China’s industrial centers, thousands of factories which were earlier run by cheap labor of the migrant workers are shifting to robots. Already the country has become world’s top customer for industrial robots and it’s likely that soon it will have the most number of commercial robots in operation on a global scale. Lately, 40,000 robots were recently installed in a firm that assembles Apple’s iPhones in China.
From the year 2013, China, other than any other country added more industrial robots yearly, even more than the high-tech industrial giants like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) declared that by 2016’s end, China was to leave Japan behind to become the biggest global operator of industrial robots.
The sudden increase in spending by the country on industrial robots is attributed to its demanding economic problem. When, in the 1980s, China opened up to global trade, their massive and cheap workforce became the magic assets to make the country the largest exporter of manufactured goods. Unbelievable economic growth changed the destiny of the country and transformed its infrastructural landscape.
But decades on, in the recent years, China’s growing middle class and aging population have led to rising wages which are eating away its competitive advantage. The resulting years are to see falling numbers of the employable population due the country’s one child policy which was only eradicated in 2015.
Recently, China’s dominant planners and developers have been endorsing automation in an attempt to fill the labor gap promising lavish subsidies which the governments would be providing to ease the journey for local companies in using and building robots.
China’s technological conversion still has a long way to go as the country currently just has 36 robots per 10,000 industrial workers in contrast with 478 in South Korea, 314 in Japan, and 292 in Germany. However, it’s already affecting the facade of the world’s entire manufacturing industry.
While doing that, it is also asking broader questions like can the upcoming economies of the world still hope to tread the traditional road to prosperity that the industrialized world has depended on since industrial revolution in the 18th century? Or will the custom made robots deplete most of the work that earlier helped millions out of poverty?
We have entered the age where robotics will slowly and consistently slide into most industries. Be it robotic trucks at construction sites working with large debris falling from demolition works, or the delicate sewing robot that may change the face of garment manufacturing as it sews an entire clothing item in one step. As more and more industries show signs of evolving towards an automated mechanism, world manufacturing leaders like China will benefit greatly to take lead on this revolution as well.
This blog is listed under Development & Implementations Community