Currently, industrial robots in Mexico provide an assembly value in the USMCA zone of 2.2 billion dollars, of which 62% of Mexico’s equipment is used in the automotive industry, making it the second region to adopt them, after China.
Industrial robots are able to adapt to several processes and are increasingly simpler to program. Moreover, in Mexico, they are not replacing employees, rather they complement them to increase competitiveness in manufacturing operations, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, production lines using collaborative equipment were easier to activate.
There is no doubt that industrial robots’ presence in Mexico is higher than is actually perceived. In fact, Mexico ranks 9 out of 15 countries with the most installations per year, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) World Robotics 2020 report.
Mexico is an important emerging market for industrial robots, although installations dropped 20%, to 4,562 units in 2019. Its highest peak was recorded in 2017 with 6,356 units.
In the USMCA zone, the installation of industrial robots is valued at 2.2 billion dollars, making the three countries that comprise the zone (the United States, Canada and Mexico), the second largest region for global inventory, after China, i.e., 13% of the machines in operation were installed in North America.
In 2019, 62% of this technology was installed in the automotive industry, while 11% were installed in the plastics and chemical industry. The electronics industry is just starting automation, since in 2019 it had 235 units, or 5%.
According to Bruno Juanes, Director of Digital Transformation at Xignux in Mexico, many industries are entering this area as manufacturers of consumer goods, machinery, capital goods and everything that involves discrete fundamental production in which attachments are gradually assembled.
Meanwhile, Manuel Sordo, CEO of Universal Robots Latin America, points out that the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and metalworking industries are also growing in terms of automation.
The first step is to realize the benefits in productivity, quality and consistency of processes and results. This has been more evident today because of the pandemic, where automation has completed and helped to maintain operations.
According to IFR’s report, there is an average of 153 robots per 10,000 employees in the North American manufacturing industry. In the United States, the average is 228, in Canada, 165, and in Mexico, 44 per 10,000 employees.
Furthermore, if we compare the Mexican automotive industry with that of the United States, the latter has 1,287 robots per 10,000 employees, compared to 356 robots per 10,000 Mexican employees.
Therefore, there is a great area of opportunity, however, Bruno Juanes recommends that before automating, each business should be analyzed and establish what will be solved with the implementation of robots by considering operating expenses (OPEX) to be replaced as well as investment costs (CAPEX).
Oradel Industrial Center offers inventory or build-to-suit industrial buildings to international companies seeking to establish their operations in Mexico. The industrial park has all the infrastructure (water, sewer, gas, electricity, etc.) and services(fiber optics, rail, telecommunications, etc.) located only 10 miles from the Mexico Texas border.