Top 3 robotic automation trends for 2024

robotic trends for 2024

AI, reshoring, and increased accessibility are some of the trends that will shape the robotic automation landscape for SMEs in 2024.

The trend forecast for robotic automation in 2024 is looking good if you are a small or medium-sized manufacturer. Industrial robotics is a rapidly evolving field, and robotic applications are becoming more accessible at all levels.

Your competitors are waking up to this fact. Here is what they’d wish you didn’t know about robotic automation in 2024.


Lower entry level barriers for SME adoption in 2024

Many small and medium-sized manufacturers have been kept on the sidelines of the 4th industrial revolution because the upfront investment is too great.

This is changing thanks to advances in robotics technology and business models that are lowering the entry level barriers.

The increased accessibility of robotic applications is why, despite a general slow-down in robotic adoption (IFR), we are expecting to see a growing rate of robotic automation among small and medium-sized manufacturers in 2024.


Get our insider tips for bringing down the cost of automation here.


Turnkey solutions speed up time to automation

Programming and integration used to account for 50-70 % of the initial investment in robotic factory automation. But not anymore.

Turnkey solutions have entered the stage, and they will change the automation game for SME manufacturers in 2024.

Turnkey robotics systems are ideal for SME manufacturers who need to automate a process but do not have the in-house expertise to do it themselves. Think plug-and-play, same-day installation and re-deployment in minutes for applications like CNC machine tending, palletizing, packaging, and transferring (pick and place).

This year we’ll be partnering with service providers and integration specialists to offer customized, out-of-the-box robotic applications that can be installed and deployed in a few hours with the help of our automatic deployment platform, D:PLOY.

D:PLOY handles most of the programming and integration automatically, reducing deployment and redeployment time by up to 90 %.

In other words, as a manufacturer you no longer need to waste time shopping around and dealing with multiple automation suppliers. You get everything you need in one place, and you can deploy the solution in less than a day, reducing costs and winning back your investment faster.


AI-powered industrial robotics

Modern factories are increasingly becoming digital eco-systems with Cloud computing, Big Data, IoT and other Industry 4.0 technologies enhancing decision making. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest addition to the tech mix, and the manufacturing industry has already embraced the technology, accounting for 6.5 out of 10 AI robots used in 2022.

Combining AI technology with industrial robotics is a no-brainer. AI and machine learning algorithms have the potential to enhance the adaptability and decision-making capabilities of industrial robots, enabling them to operate more autonomously, safely, and efficiently alongside human workers.

AI-powered programming and integration could also further speed up the delivery time of out-of-the-box automation solutions. As the AI technology matures, in 2024 we will see an increase in the adoption rate among small and medium-sized manufacturers.


Reshoring will reignite SME interest in robotic automation

Recent years’ global supply chain disruptions, rising labour costs in China, geopolitical unrest and economic uncertainty have made 72 % of Western organisations consider onshoring or nearshoring their production in 2024.

To stay competitive and fill labour gaps, we predict that SME manufacturers will be looking increasingly at robotic automation as they take back the reins and bring production closer to home.

Not only can they cut labour costs by up to 20 %; robotic automation also enhances productivity, consistency and quality and reduces delivery time and the risk – and costs– of personnel injuries.


Dive deeper

1. Capgemini Research Institute: Advancing through headwinds – where are organizations investing?

2. IFR: World Robotics – Industrial Robots 2023.

3. IFR: AI in robotics – separating fact from fiction.

4. Statista: Artificial intelligence (AI) adoption rate in supply chain and manufacturing businesses worldwide in 2022 and 2025


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