OMRON signed an agreement to invest in Techman Robot, a Taoyuan, Taiwan-based developer of collaborative robotic arms. With this investment, OMRON will hold a stake of approximately 10% in Techman. While terms of the deal were undisclosed, the investment is expected to be completed by December 2021.
In recent years, the need for automation to mitigate labor shortages in the manufacturing sector has become a social issue. In addition, COVID-19 has posed new risks for workers working in close proximity. Under these circumstances, there is growing demand for collaborative robots that can safely work side by side with humans at manufacturing sites without safety barriers and can flexibly handle multiple tasks. At the same time, both safety and productivity must be assured to accelerate coexistence and coordination between humans and machines.
In 2018, OMRON entered into a strategic alliance with Techman to meet the increasing automation needs generated by labor shortages. Since then, the TM series cobot arms have been sold as a co-branded product globally through OMRON’s distribution network. OMRON and Techman have also jointly developed a mobile manipulator that combines OMRON’s mobile robot and the TM series cobot arm.
Through the investment in Techman, OMRON aims to jointly develop innovative robots that combine OMRON factory automation equipment with Techman’s collaborative robots, ensuring both safety and productivity and offering a solution to the issue of labor shortages at manufacturing sites.
“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,” said Junta Tsujinaga, senior GM, product business division HQ, industrial automation company, OMRON. “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 of 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 labor shortages. By utilizing automation technology cultivated at manufacturing sites, we will also actively pursue creating automation to address labor shortages beyond the manufacturing sector in the primary and tertiary sectors as well.”
“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,” said Dr. Shi-Chi Ho, chairman of Techman Robot. “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.”