Manufacturing Group


Welcome to the Manufacturing Industry Group

Our IDC Manufacturing Insights community has been created to enable you to engage with our manufacturing industry analysts, share your knowledge and best practices, and connect with your colleagues.

  • Participate in the manufacturing discussions in our Blogs or Forums
  • Learn about and share best practices, tips, tricks and tools related to business/technology alignment
  • Network with your colleagues within your industry
  • Provide feedback to IDC's industry analysts and your peers

We welcome your participation! 

analysts blogging about manufacturing

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Engage with IDC Industry Analysts

There are a lot of reasons that organizations are turning to commercial service robotics. Topping the list of reasons for deploying commercial service robots, according to IDC's North American Commercial Service Robotics Survey, are improving productivity/efficiency, improving product service/quality, and increasing operational capacity. Indeed, these results fall in line with the organizational objectives that many firms that IDC speaks with indicate are driving their corporate strategy. Corporate strategy is often used to drive spending on technology and process improvements and commercial service robotics is a newer technology area that is delivering significant gains to those companies that have deployed robots into their operation.

Ecommerce order fulfillment and retail order fulfillment operations are facing increasing customer demands and expectations of accelerated delivery times, while simultaneously facing a challenging labor market. These market dynamics are forcing such operations to look at autonomous mobile robotic technology as a means to increase capacity, increase productivity and efficiency, reduce labor risk, and better manage the costs of operating a fulfilment center. The past several years has seen a rapid uptick in the number of vendors supplying such robots, each with some unique form, function, or other differentiating factor.

IDC's recent North American Commercial Service Robotics survey asked 600 non-manufacturing organizations what their top reasons are for deploying or planning to deploy commercial service robots in their operation. The top reason, among 17 choices, came back as improving productivity/efficiency with over 50% of respondents selecting this as a top reason they are using or considering service robots. Of course, there are many other reasons that companies are looking at robots as well, second on the list is improving product/service quality, and third is increasing operational capacity. Regardless of the reasons companies are looking at robots, the day has come where this technology is helping organizations achieve their strategic priorities.

Industrial inspections, regardless of the reason for inspection, can be a very dirty and dangerous job. While not necessarily dull, industrial inspections definitely cover 2 of the 3 D's of robotics deployment (dull, dirty, and dangerous). Industrial inspections can range from inspecting operational assets and operational facilities to inspecting defunct facilities during the de-commissioning process or evaluating the health and risk of non-operational holding tanks. There is no shortage of reasons to conduct industrial inspections, and there is a big business emerging for robotics to be leveraged in the inspection process.

Commercial service robots are robots that perform some useful task, with the exception of those robots operating within the realm of industrial automation or those considered consumer robots. This basically means that any robot that is not involved in industrial automation or for strictly consumer purposes are commercial service robots. This category includes robots that operate within logistics operations, hospitals, in the retail store, providing security services, and even delivering your takeout orders. There is a massive opportunity for commercial service robots to take on tasks that enable people to spend time doing other things that humans excel at, while stepping away from the dull, dirty, or dangerous tasks.

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