Flexible production with industrial robots is likely to be used increasingly by German SMEs in the future.

Even before the corona pandemic, the manufacturing industry in Germany was highly automated and was ranked third in robot density worldwide behind Singapore and South Korea.

This trend is likely to continue after the Covid-19 crisis.

The most important advantages of robotics include the following aspects:

· employees can be relieved of hazardous tasks;

· production can be quickly converted to new tasks with robots; and

· production costs can be reduced.

For beating the Covid-19 crisis, Industrial companies with robots can selectively automate individual work steps to ensure social distancing in production.

The new requirements for safe workplaces in production can be implemented easily using robotics. Robots help to make important manufacturing processes more resilient and implement new requirements quickly.

Dependencies in supply chains should cause companies to build new capacities in their domestic markets with the help of robotics and automation to reduce identified weaknesses.

Using robots is very easy and handy these days due to the fact that robot programming has become easier, which paves the way for its use in small and medium-sized enterprises. But an obstacle which awaits is that the employees still lack the necessary training for robot operation.

Robotics and automation can maintain and increase competitiveness in the new market environment, provide safer work environments along with reduction in the dependency of human labour in small and medium scale enterprises.

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