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Vietnam to Use Cobots in Manufacturing

Image credit: Vietnam Plus

The Vietnam manufacturing industry stands to benefit most from robotics as its processes involve repetitive work in confined, structured spaces, environments that robots excel in. Collaborative robots (cobots) can work around the clock and produce consistent work under harsh working conditions without any rest. This is why Universal Robots (UR), a Denmark-based collaborative robots manufacturer, has advised Vietnam’s manufacturing industry leaders to implement cobots to address skills and labour shortage as well as achieve higher productivity.

As per news reports, in 2020, the manufacturing sector played a pivotal role in driving Vietnam’s economy, contributing to 5.82% in the economy. Additionally, it accounts for 16.69% of the GDP of Vietnam. According to Nikkei and IHS Market, the Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reflected 51.7 points in December, up from 49.9 in November. Hence, business conditions in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector witnessed gradual improvement.

An industry expert has noted that safety is imperative and has become the cost of entry into the cobot market now. UR believes in developing affordable, lightweight, and flexible robots that could deliver a rapid return on investment for the manufacturing industry. By lowering the automation barrier within the reach of manufacturers who never thought that they could deploy robots due to cost and complexity, UR hopes to help Vietnam’s industries realise higher productivity and maintain the effective utilisation of their plants. Today, UR’s cobots allow employees to move from repetitive, low-value tasks to high-value activities that increase work productivity and quality.

According to the ‘Collaborative Robot Market by Payload, Component, Application, Industry, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2026’ report, cobots are increasingly being adopted by various industries due to advantages such as increased productivity and effective employee utilisation. The cobots’ market in the Asia Pacific region is expected to surpass that in Europe by 2021 due to large-scale manufacturing industries especially automotive, electronics, and metals sectors which are increasingly deploying cobots.

Earlier this month, OpenGov Asia had reported that the Politburo issued a resolution that gave orientations for making national industrial development policies until 2030 with a vision to 2045. The Prime Minister approved the national programme on supporting businesses to improve productivity and goods quality for 2021-2030, which includes the promotion of smart manufacturing. Smart production is forecast to grow strongly in the ASEAN region from 2025.

Apart from manufacturing, the country is looking to apply robotics across all economic sectors, including finance, education, and healthcare. In February, Vietnam unveiled Tri Nhan, the first robot built in Vietnam with artificial intelligence (AI). It is expected to be the future of teaching. With the ability to do maths, solve problems, and even read poems, the robot could one day become a teaching assistant, a report had noted.

According to its developers, Tri Nhan integrates typical technologies from Industry 4.0, including AI, big data, cloud computing, 3D printing, blockchain, supercomputers, and bioinformatics. It can answer questions in almost any field. Tri Nhan aims to serve the education sector by effectively supporting teaching and learning through answering questions and even solving equations.

Not just a personal assistant, Tri Nhan is also an inspirational robot who can joke around with a human-like personality and emotional intelligence. The cost of building Tri Nhan is too expensive for it to be commercialised, according to an Open Classroom representative. They will, however, continue to make improvements so it can be used in other fields, such as medicine and banking.

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