The global economy has been struggling for more than a year. The Coronavirus has hit several industries very hard. The European Commission (February 2021), for example, estimates that the COVID-19 crisis had a significant negative economic impact on the EU and the Eurozone in 2020. This has led to a fall in the real GDP of the EU (-6.3 %) and of the Eurozone (-6.8 %). With the vaccination campaign now running at full speed, the economic outlook is turning positive again. The IMF projected global GDP growth of 6.0% in 2021 in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook. The Eurozone GDP is forecast to rise by 4.4% in 2021, and growth rates of 6.4% and 8.4% respectively should be achieved in the United States and China in 2021. (Source: FPS Economy)
In the 'new normal', it appears that companies want to fully commit to automation and digitalisation. Multinationals, as well as larger national companies and SMEs, have used the recent period to map out all the pros and cons. RoboJob has also witnessed a significant increase in the number of national and international applications since the summer of 2020, explains CEO Helmut De Roovere: "Since July and August of last year, we have seen a considerable increase in the number of visits to our website and in the number of requests for information, demos and quotes. This has also resulted in quite a few new orders since the autumn of 2020. But we have seen real growth since the beginning of this year. We have never seen so many orders in the first quarter."
"We anticipated a downturn in the second quarter, but that has not been the case so far. The counter just keeps going," De Roovere says. "For example, we were recently told by one of our international key accounts that they are going to deploy our Tower in all production sites around the world."
RoboJob’s Tower is the most advanced automation system. A warehouse can be supplied with raw materials, but also with pallets and clamping devices. A robot then loads and unloads these into one or more CNC machines, allowing for 72 hours of autonomous production. Single pieces as well as series can be automated, which makes the Tower an ideal automation concept for high mix, low volume. A Tower can be placed on milling machines as well as lathes.
The 30th tower was installed at Platteau Subcontracting only a few weeks ago. That number will increase significantly with this new agreement.
"We are absolutely ready for it," declares Helmut De Roovere. "Over the past year, we have used the time freed up to fine-tune our production and installation processes, among other things. We have sufficient capacity to produce and install the systems ordered on time. With more than 1,000 installations under our belt, we have gained a wealth of experience that our customers can now benefit from."