Combine our core technologies with sensing and smart technologies in manufacturing, expand applications, and create a future in which robots support people in a wide variety of situations.
Chief Operating Officer, Robotics Solutions Operations Division
As global manufacturing wages rise and as competition for workers intensifies, the use of robots in manufacturing is rapidly expanding. Robot use will also likely spread from factories to retailers to free people from dull, repetitive tasks. Robots are, without a doubt, a growth market.
In addition to efficient, compact and precision technology, Epson has image processing technology, sensing technologies, and other original technologies and devices from multiple divisions. These allow us to provide compact, slim, lightweight robotic solutions of unrivaled speed and accuracy.
With sales companies and manufacturing sites around the world, as well as an Epson network that provides local sales and service, we will quickly identify customer needs and rapidly respond to even the most exacting requirements. Our goal is to make our strengths even stronger and to be a leader in the compact precision robot market, which is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8% for the next decade.
The Compact Precision Robot Market and Epson’s Share Targets
* Per Epson research
- By providing solutions with robots that see, sense, think, and work, and by enabling anyone to easily use our robots, we will free people from performing work they don’t want to do and work that employers don’t want them to do, thus allowing them to shift into higher added value jobs that are more creative.
- Mitigate environmental impacts with robots that are compact, slim, lightweight and, moreover, energy-efficient.
- Using original robotics and sensing technologies, we will achieve robots that move accurately, at high speed, and with low vibration, thereby providing solutions that exceed customer expectations and increase their productivity.
Phase 1 Review
We were able to grow sales of robotic solutions thanks to the expansion of the robot market and the launch of strategic products like the N series of space-efficient six-axis robots and the T series of low-priced SCARA robots. To achieve future growth, we transferred sensing and software assets from the wearable products business to the robotics solutions business and forged capital ties with a venture company to acquire artificial intelligence (AI) technology. On the other hand, trade friction curbed corporations’ appetite for investing in equipment like robots, causing the growth rate to slow in the latter half of FY2018.
IC handler sales were also tempered by U.S.-China trade friction, as well as by price competition.
Phase 1 Achievements
- Sales grew smoothly as the market expanded and Epson launched strategic products
- Transferred sensing and software technology assets refined by the wearable products business to the robotics solutions business
- Forged capital ties with AI venture company Cross Compass
- IC Handlers
- Strengthened customer touch points by reorganizing direct sales and transformed operations by cutting costs and reducing lead-times
Phase 2 Mid-Range
- Drive manufacturing innovations by providing robots that meet a wide range of automation needs and solutions that accomplish sophisticated tasks
We will accelerate the growth of robotic solutions into a core business by capturing growth opportunities, building up our core technologies and business infrastructure, and solidifying our ability to provide solutions.
Accelerate core technology development and improve our ability to sell competitive solutions
To increase product competitiveness, Epson is embracing collaboration opportunities surrounding its sensing and other technologies while also using AI to further improve usability. These actions will drive growth in existing robot markets while also enabling us to enter the collaborative robot market.
Automating manufacturing requires more than just installing robots. Production lines must be designed and built by people who have manufacturing experience and expertise. Epson, which has populated its own factories with Epson robots over many decades, has expertise that enables it to translate users’ needs into concrete solutions and recommendations. We will build on these capabilities and strengthen our sales support system in collaboration with our global manufacturing sites to accelerate growth.
Automated printhead assembly
Seiko Epson is using its robots to automate printhead assembly. We can leverage our manufacturing expertise to recommend solutions that meet manufacturers’ automation needs.
Build stronger customer touch points
We will build stronger customer touch points by reducing software development times and strengthening our service and support organization. We will also develop a product that meets the needs of the auto industry, where there is high demand for low-temperature (-40ºC) operation and precise temperature control.
Contribution to SDGs
Providing Relief from Dull, Repetitive Tasks
Epson’s force sensors endow robots with the ability to “feel” extremely subtle forces. This ability allows them to assemble mating parts, plug in flexible flat cables (FFC), insert capacitors, perform other difficult tasks that have traditionally relied on human sensory perception.
By providing solutions that make automation easy, we are helping manufacturers use robots to perform tasks that used to be done by humans. This liberates people from dull, repetitive tasks and allows them to focus on more creative, value-added jobs.