Robots are for all – both big and small

Søren Peter Johansen

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Robots are for all – both big and small

Large companies producing huge orders at a very low price. According to the Danish news site Erhvervsbladet.dk this is how robot technology is perceived by small and medium-sized companies (SME) in Denmark.

But Danish SME’s can also benefit from using robots, according to Dansk Erhverv (The Chamber of Commerce), who is behind a optimistic research indicating that Danish companies are becoming more open towards automation of the company. A positive attitude towards robots in Denmark is also necessary in order to be able to face international competition and an increased competition for human capital.

To enhance automation within small and medium-sized companies in the future, it is important to focus on technical colleges and educational institutions, according to Dansk Industry (The Confederation of Danish Industry) - this way future people within the industry are influenced before entering the real world.

This focus area is not a new phenomenon at Technological Institute and the Centre for Robot technology. As a member of GST - Advanced Technology Group, the Technological Institute’s purpose is to promote and enhance the development and utilisation of the latest knowledge within Danish companies – especially within small and medium-sized companies. 

“Robot technology is today so developed and advanced that many SME’s can benefit from it, but the problem for many companies is the lack of knowledge and expertise. The robots are not just machines functioning and working independently resulting in need for technical well-educated employees. This is where the problem exists – no matter how flexible the robots are,” says Claus Risager, head of the Centre for Robot technology, and continues:

”It is a good idea to focus on educational institutions, as this will create increase knowledge and focus on robots, however the individual companies also need to take a strategically decision whether to focus on robot technology and acquire those competences needed to realize this.” He points out that there are already a number of positive stories about companies already achieved this.

The Danish Technological Institute is one of the biggest institutions in Northern Europe to disseminate knowledge. The institute has 30.000 costumer tasks and 40.000 course students every year – 70 % of these are for SME’s.

One of the key areas for the Danish Technological Institute is automation with flexible robots. And therefore the institute wishes to strengthen and enlarge the effort towards helping the SME’s up qualifying their employees making them capable of using the new technologies.