FA and Robot System Integrators (SI) in Japan Jointly Set Up a New Industry Association

Latest Update June 22, 2018
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Over 140 companies of system integrator (SI) industry, specifically for robots and factory automation (FA), has jointly set up an industry association in July to tackle the SI shortage amid the unprecedentedly high demands in robots. This collaboration would tighten each relation among the companies. It encompasses establishing the structure of order receiving, developing new standards, and supporting the personnel development. It aims to enhance SI companies, which play an important role in installing robots, and to accelerate the robot utilization in manufacturing industry.  

The first meeting of “FA & Robot System Integrator Association (SIer)” will be held on July 13 in Tokyo. It is expected to consist of 120 SI companies as full time members, approximately 20 robot manufacturers and distributors as participating members, and Mr. Kazuo Kubota, the chairman of Sanmei Mechanical, as the first association’s president. Initially, SIer will operate as an organization within Japan Robot Industry Association (JARA) and recruit more members in the future. 

Currently, SI plays an important role in installing a system at a site where mainly consists of robots and peripheral devices. It also plays a critical role in SME world where usually does not have an FA expert. However, since there are not many participants at the moment, the SI still cannot serve well as a connector between businesses. It is expected that as the collaboration is strengthened further, it will serve better to the supply and demand of both parties. 

The current demands of robots as a solution to labor shortage has been considerably rising around the globe. JARA, therefore, expects that Japan’s robot order volume will soar to over 1 trillion yen in 2018. The scarcity of SI in the market results in such collaboration so that the foundation of SI could be strengthened and its potential could be improved to be more efficient.  

Source : Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun