OMRON looks to Cobots with Taiwan Techman stake

  • November 2, 2021
  • William Payne

Japanese industrial automation specialist OMRON has taken a 10% stake in Taiwanese industrial robot maker Techman Robot. Techman is the world second largest producer of collaborative robots (cobots) for use in manufacturing and industrial applications.

A mix of skilled labour shortages in manufacturing and the arrival of Covid-19 posing new risks to workers in manufacturing sites has increased the need for collbaborative robots. OMRON aims to expand its involvement in industrial robots as part of the company’s “innovative-Automation” strategy for Industry 4.0.

In 2018, OMRON entered into a strategic alliance with Techman to meet the increasing automation needs generated by labour shortages. Since then, Techman’s “TM series” collaborative robots have been sold as a co-branded product globally through OMRON’s distribution network. OMRON and Techman have also jointly developed the “Mobile Manipulator,” a mobile work robot that combines OMRON’s mobile robot and the “TM series,” to realise manufacturing sites where humans and machines collaborate. Through the investment in Techman, OMRON aims to jointly develop new robot solutions that combine OMRON factory automation equipment with Techman’s collaborative robots, ensuring both safety and productivity and offering a solution to the issue of labour shortages at manufacturing sites.

Junta Tsujinaga, Company President of Industrial Automation Business Company, said: “The environment surrounding the manufacturing industry is changing significantly. Anticipating these changes, since 2016 OMRON has pursued advanced manufacturing with the unique value-generation concept ‘innovative-Automation’ to resolve issues that manufacturing sites face. We have focused on robot technology and market development since it acquired industrial robot maker Adept Technology in 2015. In 2018, we added Techman’s collaborative robots to our product lineup. The strengthening our alliance with Techman at this time further pushes the evolution of collaboration between humans and machines in manufacturing. By strengthening collaborative robots, OMRON aims to create manufacturing sites where humans and machines collaborate and solve the issue of labour shortages. By utilising automation technology cultivated at manufacturing sites, we will also actively pursue creating automation to address labour shortages beyond the manufacturing sector in the primary and tertiary sectors as well.”

Dr. Shi-Chi Ho, the chairman of Techman Robot, said: “Techman Robot has penetrated the global market and successfully become the world’s second-largest collaborative robot company since 2018. Under the alliance, Techman collaborative Robot has enhanced the reputation all over the world with OMRON, which helps achieve our company’s mission of improving the lives of humans through innovation. We aim to close the gap for every business and create smart factory solutions for human-machine collaboration. We are delighted to deepen our longstanding relationship with OMRON through this collaboration, which is a significant opportunity for both companies, addressing the fast-growing gap in the market for the demanding need for smart manufacturing. We believe our partnership will open new innovative doors into the future. OMRON and Techman Robot will together deliver a highly flexible and scalable collaborative robot solution, assisting customers to easily and fully integrate collaborative robotics into smart manufacturing.”