Top 10 industry leaders embracing robotics
As the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, the company bridges the generation gap of a traditional slow-to-change industry with the ambition to develop rapidly through the use of robotics.
Every year, more than 800 employees around the world act as mentors under the FIRST program initiative, providing technical experience to students honing robotics and advanced engineering skills.
Siemens PLM Software has long been a frontrunner in the exploration of technological innovation, with a strong emphasis on the financial gains that can be made as a result of efficient manufacturing.
With a presence across numerous business sectors, the company’s work in robotics through its Tecnomatix Robotics and Automation Planning solution focuses on the development of automated production systems and their future relevance in various industries.
Panasonic recently capitalised on the industry leading MACH 2014 event in the UK to demonstrate its new TM 1400 welding robot.
The ‘Tawers Active Wire Process’ optimises the role of integration within welding, an area in which the company is becoming significiant global players in as it leverages its pre-existing expertise in electronics on a consumer scale.
In a similar fashion to Caterpillar, the world’s leading aerospace company is involving itself in the development of robotics through its dedication to people and skills development, and relating intiatives to that end.
Employee volunteerism comprises a large part of the company’s efforts while robotics fits in seamlessly to its role in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programmes.
The leading global supplier of technology and services is working with some esteemed education institutions to boosts its role in robotics, incorporating autonomy, remote operation of robots, sensor integration and 3D mapping.
Stanford University, Brown University and the TU Munich are just three academic partners under Bosch’s Personal Robotics initiative.
5. Northrop Grumman
One of the world’s largest aerospace and defense contractors is renowned for its adoption of advanced technologies and has set up a subsidiary to cater specifically for its robotics operations.
Remotec is a leading manufacturer of remote control vehicles for explosive ordnance disposal, combining reliability and sturdiness with flexibility and speed to cope in high-pressure situations.
4. Foxconn Technology Group
Renowned for the assembly of Apple’s trademark products, Hon Hai Precision Industry – or Foxconn as it’s more commonly known – has long highlighted the development of robots as the key to its future manufacturing plans.
The Technology Group subsidiary has also had to take regional issues such as labour costs and complex work conditions into account as it looks to significantly enhance its army of robots.
3. Honda Robotics
While the likes of Caterpillar and Boeing are using their existing technological prowess to help people in the industry, Honda Robotics is reversing the situation by developing its technologies by analysing people.
In an attempt to integrate the efficiency of robots with the intelligence of Honda’s humanoid robot research is one of the most renowned developments in automotive production.
2. ABB Robotics
As the name suggests, robotics is ABB’s field, and subsequently the company has the largest footprint of supplied robots across numerous industries.
Having installed 2 0,000 robots around the world, the leading producer of industrial robots was another OEM to display its latest innovations at the recent MACH exhibition where its innovation cells proved to be one of the highlights.
1. Lockheed Martin
Operating across numerous sectors including aerospace, energy, telecommunications and advanced electronics, Lockheed Martin has long looked into the role of automation and niche robotics to not only enhance its own manufacturing capabilities, but to improve the supply of technologies to its vast array of global clients.
The significance of Lockheed Martin’s R&D comes not from the extent, but from the complex sectors it caters for though.
Having played a large role in the defence and supply operations for aerospace missions, the resulting K-MAX unmanned flying robot contains a great deal of safety hardware as well as the capabilities to provide relief to the most dangerous of conflict regions.
Unlike many of its industry colleagues, this company’s focus therefore transfers to how it can keep humans out of the picture, rather than learning from more personable functions, making the necessity for intelligent, remote technologies all the more significant.
Top 10 Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies
Founded in 1919 in France, L’Oréal has grown into a multinational brand with over 82,000 employees, becoming one of the most internationally recognised FMCG companies worldwide.
Registering 498 patents in 2017, the business is focused on innovation and developing strong relationships with suppliers and partners. 100% of its strategically important suppliers will also take part in its sustainable development programme in 2020.
9. Phillip Morris
Despite various campaigns, over a billion people are set to smoke in 2025. Multinational FMCG company, Philip Morris remains a leading tobacco company, expanding its footprint into more than 180 key markets.
With 81,000 employees covering 80 languages in total, the company houses a comprehensive, agricultural supply chain; sourcing 400,000 metric tonnes of tobacco each year in partnership with 350,000+ tobacco farmers. The company has also sought to embrace the manufacture of electronic devices for heated tobacco products and e‑cigarettes.
Launched in the 1950s, global Brazilian food industry leader JBS is now home to 300 production facilities with over 10 billion-dollar brands under its umbrella., such as Seara, Swift, Friboi, Doriana, Moy Park, Pilgrim’s, Primo and more.
Serving more than 300,000 customers, it is the world’s largest company in the beef sector, with over 235,000 employees. Its Legal Supplier Programme has enabled beef suppliers to adapt to Brazil’s environmental legislation, whilst the Green Light Pact initiative has seen cattle breeding centres in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil improve their production practices.
7. Coca Cola
Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging distribution network, strong portfolio and exceptional marketing capabilities have made it one of the most iconic FMCG companies in the world.
Available in over 200 countries, its products are supplied through one of the world’s largest beverage distribution networks, where suppliers must adhere to its Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles (SAGP) and Supplier Engagement Program.
Adopting SmartLabel technology across its manufacturing operations, the business is also leading the way in the identification, implementation and sharing of best practices. Each product now houses a QR code, providing complete transparency. The company is also looking to reduce the emissions from its production processes, where 42% of energy used at its sites is sourced from renewable energy sources.
Originally established by combining three big companies: Interbrew, Ambev and Anheuser-Busch, Belgian-Brazilian beverage company AB InBev is officially the world’s largest beverage business.
Selling over 500 beer brands, such as Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Quilmes in more than 100 countries, the company is acutely aware of its need to frequently adapt and enhance its distribution network.
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Partnering with nearly 50,000 farmers, the business is committed to sustainable sourcing, where its flagship platform, SmartBarley has utilised data analytics to support more than 5,000 enrolled farmers improve their productivity and environmental performance. AI and blockchain will also support its manufacturing capabilities.
Housing some of the most recognisable everyday brands, Unilever’s aggressive acquisition strategy and strong brand presence has seen it become a household name across 190 countries worldwide. Its R&D centres have sought to fully bolster its manufacturing operations and vast distribution network, where the business has maintained its zero non-hazardous waste-to- landfill agenda since 2017.
Additionally, a number of its initiatives have provided employment opportunities to those in rural areas. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has enabled half of the company’s agricultural raw materials, such as palm oil to become sustainably sourced. Not only that, 26 sustainable living brands are now situated under the company’s umbrella.
The main rival to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo’s beverages, as well as its food products continue to grow in popularity and demand.
Harnessing significant brand awareness, the Fortune 500 company is one of the most admired companies in the world. Its six global divisions form part of its aim to transform its products which are delivered through its extensive distribution network to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers.
Following from its acquisition of personal care company Gillette in 2005, Procter & Gamble has become one the largest FMCG companies, with operations in up to 70 countries.
Providing a range of personal and consumer health products to five billion customers, the company’s recent plans to acquire the consumer health division of Merck Group, as well as implementing a new simplified management structure will form part of its 2020 vision.
2. Johnson & Johnson
A firm family favourite, Johnson & Johnson remains one of the most influential FMCG companies. With products in three categories, Consumer Healthcare, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals, the business has grown at a considerate pace, with up to 250 subsidiaries under its umbrella.
The company’s complex, global distribution network and diverse supplier base has seen the business embrace new technologies across its network, as it continues to thrive in its role in delivering quality products and services at affordable prices for consumers.
1. Nestle AG
Undertaking a number of corporate acquisitions, Swiss food and beverage company, Nestle has become the largest in the world, with more than 2000 brands available in 189 countries.
Home to the world’s largest private food and nutrition research organisation, the company invested US$1.7bn in its research capabilities in 2017 alone, supporting its 30 R&D facilities worldwide. Its recent partnership with Starbucks will see the business bolster its complex distribution network.
Additionally, in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nestle is striving for zero environmental impact across its operations. Providing clear labels across its manufacturing lines, the company provides nutritional knowledge as well as supporting local farmers who provide high quality ingredients within its sustainable sourcing efforts.