Rise of Robots- The Evolution of Automotive Industry

Robots are the driving force behind the automotive industry today, but it took many years of refinement and evolution for robots to get here.

History of robots can be traced back to the renaissance era, where the likes of Da Vinci and other scientists sought the help of mechanical devices in their works. However, when it comes to the automotive industry, the history of robots starts sometime after the fall of The Third Reich.

Post WW2

After World War 2 ended, the US automotive industry had to cope with an ever increasing demand. The assembly line of Henry Ford was not enough to meet the demands of the mass market anymore and this meant the automakers needed to find newer ways of manufacturing. This is when the concept of automation started taking shape.

Finally in 1970, the first integrated circuit was developed and the automation concept accelerated. Back then, the industrial robots did not have external sensors, but were able to perform some basic functions like placing and picking.

Automation Boom

Industrial robots for welding were first developed by General Motors in the 1960s. They became popular and Ford motors soon followed suit.

1969 saw the creation of Stanford Arm, which had six more degrees of freedom than other robots.

In 1974, MIT built the revolutionary Silver Arm with a microprocessor and sensors sensitive to pressure. It increased the production of cars by almost 30% annually with its versatility and increased functioning.

By 1980s, automotive manufacturers were spending billions of dollars on industrial robots to automate their assembly lines. Robots have never backed since then, as constant innovation has completely changed the way cars are manufactured.

Automotive Industry of today

The post 2010 era can be considered a manufacturing renaissance for the US. It is pretty obvious from the stats that show an increase of almost 16% in car manufacturing since 2010. The US ranks third in robot density, after Japan and Korea, with 1,111 units. Robot density refers to the number of robots in operation per 10,000 employees.

China out ranks every other country when it comes to consuming robots, since they are the largest manufacturer as well the largest market for cars. China consumes 40% of the industrial robots that they manufacture. Between 2011 and 2016, 108,000 industrial robots were installed in China in the automotive industry alone.

Automation in the manufacturing plant isn’t as expensive as it was several years ago. Robots are constantly being evolved which makes older models cheaper. Companies also have the option of buying used industrial robots at reasonable prices to fully automate their plant.

Have a look at the variety of used robots available on our website, along with all kinds of plants mechanical parts.

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