Robots on the hunt for humans – 250 jobs to fill this year
Funen-based Universal Robots is the front-runner in a market where recruitment of more employees is the key to keep on riding the growth wave.
In the first quarter alone, staff numbers grew by 25%, meaning that the leading manufacturer of robotic arms could welcome 100 new employees at offices around the globe. And HR will continue to have its hands full the rest of the year if the company is to match and defend its leading position within specialised robots.
“The goal is to hire 250 employees in 2018, so we still need 150. We’re seeing an increasing number of competitors in our field, so if we are to retain our market shares, we need to attract the right employees. At the moment, we have around 50 job openings,” says Per Kloster Poulsen, Regional Sales Director for Scandinavia and the UK at Universal Robots.
We are far ahead when it comes to robots and automatisation that supports companies in becoming global leaders in their field. Lars Frelle-Petersen, Medlemsdirektør
The story of Universal Robots is an entrepreneurial success story that started in 2003, when founder Esben Østergaard, Kasper Støy and Kristian Kassow saw potential in developing simple and cheap robotic arms to be used in production at SMEs. Today Universal Robots has 22 offices in 14 countries, and in Denmark alone, its staff represents 35 different nationalities.
The success has accelerated even further given that large businesses in fields such as the automotive industry have begun to see the advantages of including Danish robots in the assembly line, alongside regular workers.
According to Per Kloster Poulsen, the market for so-called “cobots” - robots that collaborate with humans – is currently growing by over 70% annually. This means that the company must grow correspondingly in order to maintain its position. Until now the company has manufactured 25,000 robots, 10,000 of which were manufactured in 2017.
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An 89-minute tutorial is enough
The trick is to make robots simple and easy to operate. The company offers an 89-minute long online tutorial that will prepare anyone to use the company’s robots.
“We have a huge potential in front of us, and whether or not we take advantage of it depends on how simple we succeed in making our cobots. The goal is always to make it extremely easy to include robots in daily routines,” explains Per Kloster Poulsen and continues:
“We think of the robot as a tool on par with other specialised tools. It needs to be able to hang on the tool board and be taken down to use whenever needed.”
The cheap price of the robot makes it profitable to use the tool for smaller orders, which are often the core business for SMEs. Per Kloster Poulsen therefore still sees major potential among Denmark’s many smaller enterprises to include robots in production.
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Find out the potentials of digitalisation
Director of the Danish ICT and Electronics Federation, Lars Frelle-Petersen, sees Universal Robots as a front-runner that can inspire the business community more broadly.
“We are far ahead when it comes to robots and automatisation that supports companies in becoming global leaders in their field. Meanwhile, as is the case in many industries, it is crucial to be able to attract enough workers with the right competences in order to maintain this lead,” says Lars Frelle-Petersen.
It is therefore also important to maintain political focus on how best to maintain and expand this position.
“At the same time, it is also a matter of making sure all companies partake in the opportunities that digitalisation brings. That is why we have created an inspiration tour for our members, which will allow them to draw concrete inspiration from various companies in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK,” says Lars Frelle-Petersen, in reference to the project ”Around the future in 5 days”.
Per Kloster Poulsen at Universal Robots is among the people that DI members will meet in the inspiration tour on 1-5 October.