Most of Finland’s robotics industry specializes in automation for small-series production—in line with a growing global manufacturing focus—according to a new report from HowToRobot in collaboration with the Robotics Society in Finland.
Getting robots to work in a manufacturing environment with many variations and small production series can prove challenging. Yet, this is precisely what the robotics industry in Finland has specialized in, said HowToRobot.
Seventy four percent of the robotics industry in Finland supplies to the metal and machinery manufacturing industry – often characterized by high-mix, low-volume production (HMLV). This is one of the main findings from the new market overview of robotics and automation companies, covering 201 businesses across 315 locations in Finland.
“Finland’s robotics industry is working on an issue that manufacturers recognize worldwide: How can you make automation possible and feasible in a small production with many variations?” said Søren Peters, CEO of HowToRobot.
Labor costs drive automation in Finland
The Finnish expertise in robotics has developed out of necessity to support the country’s large machinery manufacturing industry, according to Jyrki Latokartano, chairman of the Robotics Society in Finland.
Over the past 15 years, labor costs in manufacturing in Finland have increased by more than 30%, according to Statistics Finland. Also, the number of job vacancies for metal and machinery workers reached record levels in 2022, up 826% since 2009.
“Getting robots to help make heavy machinery is necessary because of the growing labor costs and lack of people, for example, skilled in arc welding,” Latokartano said.
Twenty four percent of robotics companies in Finland specialize in welding automation, according to the market report. It also identified other industrial applications, including machining, assembly, quality control, and many others.
New sectors ready for robotics
Despite the machinery industry’s strong influence on robotics in Finland, automation providers are also expanding to other areas, such as logistics, according to the report. 34% of suppliers specialize in logistics systems used in a wide range of industries.
“There is growing potential for automating internal logistics across healthcare, manufacturing, and retail sectors. In many of these areas, businesses are not used to robots,” said Latokartano.
Increasing robot adoption in these new areas requires a strong commercial focus from robotics companies, Peters noted. This means, among other things, communicating the technology in a language for non-experts, he said.
“If you’re new to robotics, you’re just more likely to invest in solutions that are easy to understand and use,” said Peters.
Highlights from the report
The “2023 Market Overview of Robot and Automation Companies in Finland” is based on research conducted by HowToRobot.com with the Robotics Society in Finland. Some of their key findings include:
- The robotics industry in Finland has 201 suppliers, including 136 integrators, 47 sub-component suppliers, 10 robot manufacturers, four advisors, and four distributors.
- The top industries served by most robotics suppliers include robotics (151 suppliers), metal and machinery (148 suppliers), and logistics (95 suppliers).
- The top applications that most robotics suppliers specialize in are handling and picking (104 suppliers), inspection and quality control (83 suppliers), and logistics and storage (68 suppliers).
The full report contains insights about the market for robotics and automation in Finland, statistics on robotics companies, and a complete data sheet containing every supplier identified in the research.
About the report collaborators
HowToRobot.com is a leading global marketplace that matches businesses with relevant suppliers and solutions from its growing network of robotics and automation companies. The company said its market insights, guides, and digital tools can help users understand their needs and connect them with the right systems.
Founded in 1983, the Robotics Society in Finland (Suomen Robotiikkayhdistys) is a collective of robot specialists in Finnish industry, research, and training. It has about 330 professional members as well as more than 60 robot companies, both suppliers and users, plus research organizations.
The society's activities include seminars, workshops, excursions, publishing basic books, and general robotics public relations in Finnish media. It collaborated with HowToRobot on a similar report last year.
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