#ThoughtsOnRobots: Dr. Thomas Paral

Thomas Paral interview with OnRobot

In this interview, Thomas Paral, Chief Business Development Officer at OnRobot, shares his thoughts on how collaborative applications can help improve the value chains of SMEs worldwide.


Thomas Paral, Chief Business Development Officer at OnRobot, is not surprised by the continued rise in the sale of collaborative applications (cf. the World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report).

He explains that the manufacturing industries are highly fragmented by type of industry, size of companies and differences in supply and value chains. 70 percent of the 10 million manufacturing industries worldwide are SMEs, and only 30 percent have more than 1,000 employees and act as global players.

“The majority of SMEs have low volume, high variance product portfolios, which requires the kind of flexibility provided by collaborative applications rather than traditional industrial robots, which are better suited to high volume, low variety production,” says Thomas Paral.


From collaborative experiments to full-scale collaborative automation

“SMEs are truly waking up to the optimisation potential offered by collaborative automation. From experimenting with simple collaborative applications, larger SMEs are now integrating scaled collaborative applications across their entire value chains,” Thomas Paral explains.

Collaborative applications are being adopted by various industries for applications such as line loading and unloading, machine tending, material handling and pic & place, packaging and palletising in warehousing and logistics, assembly, testing, quality inspection and sorting.

“In addition to existing automotive and electronics opportunities, we are seeing a growing demand for collaborative applications in diverse industries such as eCommerce, retail and consumer goods, agriculture and food processing, healthcare and pharma. We have also noted growing investments in digitalization and automation in the industry to adjust production to keep up with the local and global competition,” says Thomas Paral.


Check your value chain to stay competitive

All manufacturing companies whether they are small, medium, or big, face the global challenges of costs, time and quality to strengthen their value chain despite – or even due to – reshoring activities from Asia.

“If you want to stay competitive in your market, check your value chain. Make sure you don’t waste valuable resources on non-valuable tasks,” Thomas Paral advises.

When you look for value-adding solutions to increase your company’s competitiveness, Thomas Paral’s advice is to look for a solution which meets the following criteria:

  • low in capital expenditure (CAPEX)
  • low operating costs
  • low emissions
  • full legal compliance
  • an ROI best < 6 months
  • increased production flexibility
  • improved product quality
  • increased turnover and margin
  • increased overall equipment efficiency (OEE)
  • increased production output
  • better on-time delivery.

Collaborative applications tick all of the boxes on the list, according to Thomas Paral:

They perform simple, mundane tasks efficiently in a semi-structured environment alongside human professionals and free up your workers for more value-adding tasks.

Collaborative applications improve repeatability of the process and reduce the cycle times of the overall process, which results in an increase in productivity and a reduction of costs.

They are easy to deploy, it is simple and flexible to switch from one application to another, and you quickly get return on investment.

“Add to that OnRobot’s commitment to zero complexity and our one stop shop for collaborative applications, and you have the perfect value-adding solution to grow your business,” says Thomas Paral.

He ends on a note of gratitude to OnRobot’s customers, partners and employees:

“I want to thank all our partners and users for deploying OnRobot solutions in their applications and processes in 2020. Thank you, too, to all OnRobot employees who helped make this happen across all functions. Stay healthy, have a wonderful Christmas, and see you in 2021 for new business opportunities.”






Privacy Policy for processing and protecting personal data

This data protection policy applies to OnRobot.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure and document that OnRobot protects personal data in accordance with the rules for processing of personal data. The policy will also contribute to OnRobot providing information about its processing and use of registered personal data.

The policy will be reviewed each year.

Record of the processing of personal data

OnRobot processes personal data about:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

  • Applicants

OnRobot has prepared a record of the processing of personal data. The record provides an overview of the processing for which OnRobot is responsible.

The personal data must be provided in order for OnRobot to enter into employment, customer and supplier contracts.

Purpose and lawfulness of the processing

Personal data are processed and archived in connection with:

  • HR management, including recruitment, hiring, dismissal and payment of salary

  • Master data for customers as well as orders and sales

  • Master data for suppliers as well as requisition forms and purchases

  • Contracts

Processing is legal by the authority specified in the appended record.

OnRobot does not use the personal data for purposes other than those listed. OnRobot does not collect more personal data than necessary to meet the purpose. 

Storage and erasure

OnRobot has introduced the following overall guidelines for storage and erasure of personal data:

  • Personal data are stored in physical folders.

  • Personal data are stored in IT systems and on server drives.

  • Personal data are not stored for longer than necessary to meet the purpose of the processing.

  • Personal data for employees are erased five years after employment has ended, and personal data about applicants are erased after six months.

Data security

Based on the appended risk assessment, OnRobot has implemented security measures to protect personal data:

  • Only employees with a work-related need to access the registered personal data have access to the data, either physically or via IT systems with rights management.

  • All computers are password protected and employees may not disclose their passwords to others.

  • Computers must have firewall and antivirus software installed, which must be updated regularly.

  • Personal data are erased securely in connection with phasing-out and repair of IT equipment.

  • USB flash drives, external hard disks, etc. containing personal data must be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet.

  • Physical folders are placed in a locked office or in locked cabinets.

  • Personal data in physical folders are erased by shredding.

  • All employees must be instructed in what to do with personal data and how to protect personal data.


Website and Cookie

  • The Personal Data Regulation allows you to treat personal data only legally for the purpose for which they have been collected. If you want to use data for purposes other than the original, you must always have the consent of the registrant.

  • Upon receipt of a business card from a customer you have his consent. If you write his information you need his signature on this paper to have a formal requirement for consent if you want to use his information. Then the customer allows OnRobot to use his data for purposes other than communication, upcoming promotions, product updates or further news including upcoming promotions, product updates and further news.

  • According to the Cookie Act, OnRobot must have the user’s consent to use this software on the user’s equipment. On The company’s intranet or similar closed group, the rules in the E-data protection directive do not apply.


Personal data about employees may be disclosed to public authorities such as the Danish Customs and Tax Administration and pension companies.


OnRobot only uses processors if they are able to provide the required guarantees that they will implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to comply with personal data law. All processors must sign a processor agreement before processing commences.


OnRobot safeguards the rights of data subjects, including the right to access, withdrawal of consent, rectification and erasure and will inform the data subjects of OnRobot’s processing of personal data. Data subjects are also entitled to appeal to the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Personal data breach

In case of personal data breach, OnRobot will report the breach to the Danish Data Protection Agency as soon as possible and within 72 hours. The manager is responsible for this reporting taking place. The report will outline the breach, the groups of persons affected and the impact the breach may have on these persons and how OnRobot has remedied or intends to remedy the breach. If the breach entails a high risk for the persons about whom OnRobot processes personal data, OnRobot will also notify these persons. OnRobot s will document any personal data breach on an access-controlled drive.

Erasure of data

The customer should assess when personal data need to be erased by asking the question:

When is it no longer necessary to store the personal data?

OnRobot follows the practice of the Danish Data Protection Agency:

Applications Are erased after 6 months in connection with job interviews. Unsolicited applications are erased immediately.
Employee data Are erased 5 years after termination of employment.
CCTV surveillance Is erased after 30 days.
Telephone conversations Are erased immediately or after up to 3 months.
Accounting records Must be stored for 5 years from the end of the financial year.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
With the dawn of smarter, more adaptive tooling, robots can now function with greater speed, strength, safety and precision, accomplishing a wide range of tasks, while maximizing ROI. Learn more on how you can enable faster production at lower costs by downloading our free eBook.
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
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