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“We want to become the clear market leader for cobots in Europe”

Interview with FANUC Europe President & CEO about the strategic role of the company’s cobots

Q: FANUC has just released three new cobot models. How important are collaborative robots for your business?


A: We expect our CRX cobots to be among our most popular robot models as they are suitable for every type of manufacturer looking to expand their capabilities. In particular, CRX models appeal to first-time robot users thanks to their safety, light weight and intuitive drag and drop programming. The CRX series is already opening new customer segments for FANUC, while at the same time acting as a door opener to companies who already have some experience in automating their production lines but have not yet made contact with our sales team. When we present our CRX models to potential customers, we meet with enthusiastic reactions. This helps us gain long-term customer satisfaction, not only in the field of cobots, but other applications involving different types of industrial robots.

Q: What features does the CRX have that no other cobot manufacturer can offer?

A: Due to our 40 years’ experience in building industrial robots, our CRX models work reliably and accurately under tough conditions, providing manufacturers with the highest possible production uptime. In fact, our CRX series is designed to work maintenance-free for eight years.

Q: What market share do you target?

A: In the medium term, we want to become the clear market leader for cobots in Europe by supporting customers to increase their cobot usage in a wide range of applications. With a line-up of 11 cobot models ranging from 4 kg to 35 kg payload, I think that we are in a good position to achieve this target.

Q: In December 2019 you released your first lightweight cobot, the CRX-10iA. What is your experience with this cobot up to now?

A: The CRX has enjoyed widespread adoption, especially in the arc-welding segment. Since the beginning of 2022, around a third of all newly sold CRX cobots have found use in arc-welding applications, largely because of the easy manual-guided teaching and drag and drop functions, as well as FANUC’s tried and trusted ArcTool software that provides high levels of integrated welding functionality without requiring any customer development. Apart from arc welding, we see many other applications for our CRX series, from the assembly of small parts to the handling and palletising of large components and countless more, and we expect this usage expansion to continue. 

Q: Will FANUC expand robot production capacity because of the CRX?

A: FANUC has historically increased its robot production capacity on a continual basis to the present output of 11,000 units per month and we are planning further expansion, not limited to CRX models. By using free space within the company and improving efficiency, the prospects are clear for increasing our production volume to approximately 14,000 units per month. Also ongoing is an evaluation of achieving a production capacity of 16,500 units per month, without any new construction. However, in line with industry expectations for dramatic growth in the global robot market, we view such enhancements to our output as having limited effect as they will only cover demand for the next few years. For this reason, we are contemplating the construction of a new robot factory as the next step.

Responsible for the content of this press release: FANUC Deutschland GmbH

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FANUC Deutschland GmbH
Bernhäuser Straße 22
73765 Neuhausen a.d.F.
Germany
+49 (0) 7158/187 - 400
+49 (0)7158/187-455

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