World’s largest cobot hub planned for Denmark
By DE StaffAutomation
Mobile Industrial Robots’ and Universal Robots’ parent, Teradyne, to invest $36M in robot development and production facility.
Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) and Universal Robots (UR) have unveiled plans for what will become the new home for the two Danish robotics companies. With US$36 million in financial backing from their joint U.S. parent company, Teradyne, the companies will build and share a 334,000-sq.-ft. “cobot hub” in the city of Odense, Denmark. The fastest growing segment of industrial automation, collaborative robots (cobots) are a type of user-friendly robot that don’t require safety guarding to work in close proximity to people.
“MiR and UR are leading the world in the collaborative robot revolution that’s making automation solutions available to companies of all sizes,” said Mark Jagiela, President and CEO of Teradyne. “Teradyne continues to invest aggressively in the development of new products, solutions and sales channels and this new facility is a key part of our growth strategy.”
The building site is in Odense’s industrial district close to UR’s current headquarters, which will also become part of the cobot hub. According to the two companies, they will continue as separate entities with the aim of attracting new employees and facilitating continued growth.
According to MiR, it has hired 100 new employees the past year, with UR adding 280 new staff members during the past two years. Today, the two companies have 160 and 450 employees respectively based in Denmark. UR employs nearly 700 employees worldwide while MiR’s staff counts a total of around 220 globally. Similarly, MiR and UR’s combined total revenue rose by 18 percent in 2018, reaching $995 million with exports increasing 26 percent.
“This is a market expected to grow to a total value of almost $12 billion in 2030, according to ABI Research,” said Jürgen von Hollen, President of Universal Robots. “Demand for Danish cobots already means that we are growing out of our current offices in Odense, both at UR and MiR. Odense has a strong ecosystem of talent and we are pleased to have the opportunity to invest long-term in the unique robotics environment that we have been building here over the last 10 years.”
The Danish robotics industry is currently booming; a 2019 survey by the trade association, Odense Robotics, reports that 8,500 people currently work for Danish robotics companies, 3,900 of them in and around Odense, Denmark’s third largest city. If the industry follows the growth forecasts, the Danish robot industry will employ 25,000 employees in 2025, according to the Danish analyst firm Damvad.