Mexico is almost on a par with France, Great Britain and Spain in terms of multifunctional robot acquisitions
By Florian Steinmeyer, Director of the Mexican Office of Germany Trade & Invest
Rumor has it that the current economic situation has prevented Mexico from fully embracing Industry 4.0, yet there are signs the country continues to forge ahead with the digitalization of its production processes.
According to Carlos Mortera, International Director for Latin America at the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), Mexico remains one of the emerging economies where demand for equipment is highest.
In 2018, the number of M2M SIM cards installed in Mexico increased 200,000 units to stand at 2.1 million, positioning the country 16th among all 34 OECD member countries.
Used for machine-to-machine communications, M2M SIM cards are a crucial indicator of the development of connected production.
Another sign that Industry 4.0 will be more broadly embraced in years to come is that Mexico is already closing in on France, Great Britain and Spain in terms of purchases of multifunctional robots, while the rising cost of salaries in industry will likely continue to fuel robot sales, especially in the prosperous industrial region of El Bajío and the northern states along the U.S. border.
The automotive industry is the number one client for industrial robots in Mexico, accounting for a massive 81% of sales in 2016. Automation has taken root more firmly here compared to other sectors: in 2016, there were 269 multifunctional robots for every 10,000 employees in the automotive industry.
That said, there are examples in other industries and companies of all sizes. Such is the case of Inmersys, a developer of virtual and augmented reality software that has some 25 employees and works primarily out of Mexico City.
Inmersys operates in the industrial sector and specializes mainly in virtual reality software that its director in Germany, Jorge Yen, says makes it possible to train engineers and other employees in new production processes without having to use actual machines.
Another example is Bosch, for whom Mexico is more than an interesting manufacturing destination and consumer market. The company has begun working closely with start-ups to find solutions to technical problems. Sales Vice-president Eduardo Watty says that when Bosch comes up against an obstacle, it frequently finds solutions by collaborating with start-ups specialized in the area of interest.
In 2017, Bosch set up an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in Guadalajara in conjunction with Centraal, a supplier of co-working areas. At its 2,000-square-meter facility, Bosch provides work space and IT labs for start-ups and facilitates networking among CEOs.
Finally, Industry 4.0 will be the focus of Industrial Transformation MEXICO, programmed to take place in León, Guanajuato, on October 9-11. For more information and details on how to register prior to the event free of charge, log on to: https://industrialtransformation.mx/.