The electronics industry needs mobile robots. Here’s why

Today’s consumers not only want the latest models as quickly as possible, but also more durable, high quality and sustainable goods.

This is putting huge demands on the electronics manufacturing industry. Couple this with omni-channel ordering, tracking and returning, an aggressive reviewing culture and some hard-to-ignore tariffs, and you get an electronics industry that can do little else but be as responsive as possible while keeping costs low.To stand a chance of competing, manufacturers and suppliers need to automate processes for a flexible, productive and high value supply chain. While automation and robotics are no stranger to the electronics industry, there is still room to go further with a new generation of innovative technology.

The next generation of success

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are much more sophisticated than their predecessor, the AGV (automated guided vehicle). While an AMR is like the AGV in that they are both transportation devices, AMRs rely on data to make routes and not wires or magnets. Not only does this make them easier to set up with little downtime, they are also more responsive to (and useful in) a dynamic work environment.  This, and their other features make AMRs more efficient and safer than an AGV, as well as being easy to use. That’s probably why the latest industry findings show that by 2021, 60% of the electronics industry will use AMR to optimize internal logistics, and that by 2024, this number will hit 90%.


Explore how AMRs can be your competitive advantage, allowing you to swiftly adapt to evolving industry demands

Leaner, faster, more flexible processes

The electronics industry knows more than any other that a lean, optimized supply chain is a critical for success. Those who are exposed to omni-channel demands are especially vulnerable with 81% of manufacturers stating their current supply change is not up to purpose, according to a EY report.

Here, autonomous mobile robots can aid productivity by removing humans from low-value menial tasks and freeing them to add value with more complex tasks. AMRs also reduce error rate and the need for frequent  inventory checks, keeping production times short and responsive. The collaborative nature of the mobile robot also means that it can add efficiency by working side-by-side with its human counterparts, to ensure optimal productivity.

AMRs are an integral part of the supply chain of the future by keeping flows and processes tight and responsive.

What are the benefits of automation in the electronics industry?

Icon Industries Increase Efficiency

Maximized troughput

AMRs are able to work full shifts and by charging automatically when not in use, they can work 24/7

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Saving space

Agile AMRs can operate in dynamic environments with limited space and narrow halls, and can easily, and fast adapt to changing factory layouts and production setups.

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Reduced costs

AMRs redeploy workers for higher value tasks for increased productivity and saved costs for material handling

24 hours

No operational downtime

AMRs adapt to dynamic conditions on the fly and avoid costly bottlenecks.

Workforce stability

As well as increasing supply chain reliability, AMRs can also aid labor and workflow stability. The autonomous mobile robots can take on dangerous or repetitive tasks, reducing the risk of costly workplace injuries. At a time when worker shortages are threatening the electronics industry, employing technology to take on the less interesting and riskier jobs, will help create a more appealing environment to retain and attract workers.

In fact, in a recent survey of global business leaders by MiR found that 40% do not see AMR as a mechanism to reduce labor costs. Instead most leaders see AMR as a way to improve worker safety, keep up with market challenges and increase production capacity.