The overall automated guided vehicle market is expected to grow from USD 2.0 billion in 2019 to USD 2.9 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 7.8% as per a report by MarketsandMarkets.
Will integration of Industry 4.0 with robotics to propel the market further?
Traditional industrial facilities are slowly evolving into smart, connected, and highly efficient automated facilities by integrating Industry 4.0 with automation systems. Industry 4.0 is capable of converting an industrial facility into an autonomous plant. It combines computers and industrial automation solutions with the help of robotics to form a single automated unit. The network of connected devices creates a smart architecture capable of taking decentralized decisions. The growth of Industry 4.0 is changing the functioning of warehouses.
Industry 4.0 also aims to create an operational environment wherein humans and robots can work together efficiently. Furthermore, the integration of Industry 4.0 and robotics would transform processes into an industrial space with improved coordination between automation systems. This integration will facilitate time-critical, high-velocity operations at lower costs in the highly demanding and continuously evolving supply chain ecosystem.
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Is low labor cost and dependency on labor in manufacturing sector of emerging economies a key challenge?
Low labor prices in emerging economies such as India, Bangladesh, and Tanzania restricts the adoption of automation across the industries in these countries. The automation of industrial facilities makes little or no economic sense in these countries where abundant cheap labor is readily available. The average daily wages of a semiskilled worker in India is ~USD 8.5. In India, automation in manufacturing facilities is less prevalent than their foreign counterparts, since the cost advantage in labor trade-off with robots is less due to the availability of cheap labor. Moreover, emerging countries such as Bangladesh, Cuba, and Tanzania have approximate average daily wages of USD 0.72, USD 0.4, and USD 0.08, respectively.
The companies in emerging countries are reluctant to invest in automated equipment, such as AGVs, due to the availability of low-cost labors. Various operations in the SMEs in the manufacturing sector of emerging economies are carried out by human labors as the combination of manual efforts with precise and semiautomatic machines proves to be profitable to them.
Growing demand for automation in material-handling across industries
The overall need for high efficiency in automotive, healthcare, e-commerce, and food & beverages industries is increasing the demands for automation. The AGV-enabled automation of industrial facilities can help meet the requirements related to material handling capacity, along with reducing production time, lessening the chances of human errors, enhancing safety, ensuring high production volumes, and increasing accuracy and repeatability.
The use of AGVs enables just-in-time (JIT) delivery of raw material, computerized control of received assembled parts, and tracking of shipped articles. AGV help store, distribute, and transport material without human intervention, thereby ruling out the possibilities of injuries to workers and damage to products. Furthermore, the deployment of AGV enables companies in various industries to apply new technologies that would deliver immediate value and long-term returns. This trend is driving the need for information-enabled systems such as AGVs that can help industries to manage plant assets and make better operational decisions.
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