© Universal Robots

Although Lithuania is among the last in Europe, measuring the robotization levels of the industrial sector, it is an inevitable future. As the pandemic accelerates automation in all sectors around the world, Lithuanian industrialists are also talking about a turning point – the ratio of labor productivity, availability, quality and price in Lithuania is already moving in favor of robots.

This article originally appeared on the November 3rd edition of Verslo Žinios. Find the full original version in Lithuanian HERE.

According to Mantas Gudas, vice-president of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (LPK), today we should choose at the state level whether we will trust and actively meet the future or passively wait until we have to deal with the negative consequences of the “robot revolution”.

Robotization is inevitable

VŽ has already written about the recently published forecasts of the World Economic Forum (WEF) – due to technological progress and mass automation, 85 million jobs in 15 areas of economic activity could be eliminated by 2025, although the “robot revolution” could also create 97 million new jobs.

WEF, which publishes biennial forecasts on the impact of robotics on the labor market, stated that this year is exceptional. The global coronavirus pandemic has not only disrupted the economy but also accelerated robotic processes.

“Automation combined with a recession caused by a pandemic creates a double imbalance in the labor market. In addition to its current imbalances related to quarantine and pandemic-induced economic contraction, attempts by companies to adapt to the situation by making technological decisions will put even more pressure on the transformation of tasks, professions and the skills they require by 2025.”, says the Future of Jobs 2020 analysis published by PEF.

And while it is said here that the ‘robot revolution’, by destroying some professions, will create an even greater need for ‘future workers’ and more jobs, unlike in previous years, job creation is now slower and traditional jobs are disappearing faster, so after 5 years the work of man and machines will be evenly distributed.

Lithuania lags behind

The International Robotics Federation estimated in the autumn that 2.7 million people are currently installed in the world’s companies. industrial robots, an increase of 12% over the year.

According to the federation’s report, the number of robots in Europe has grown by 7% over the year, with the most robotic companies in Germany, Italy and France. In terms of the number of robots per 10,000 employees, Singapore leads with 918, 277 in Germany and Sweden, and 5 in Lithuania.

VŽ recently wrote about the fact that looking at the numbers, it is difficult to talk about the breakthrough of robotics in Lithuania – 4.6% of the country’s companies were robotized, this number has increased by 1.4 percentage points in two years.

“In general, only 12.7%, or 13,607 of all Lithuanian companies can be robotized, because all others are micro-enterprises. In 2018, only 435 companies had robots, and at the beginning of 2020 – 626, which means that 191 companies were robotized in two years “, says Justinas Katkus, Board Member of the Lithuanian Robotics Association.

And although robotization in Lithuania is happening, it is not as smooth as it could and should be, says Mantas Gudas.

“This is determined by the nature of the country’s concentrated supply chains, the scale of the industry, the country’s engineering potential, the size of the market and, finally, wages,” he explains.

Read the full article in Lithuanian here.