If the level of robotization in Lithuania remains low, the products produced in the country will become uncompetitive, says the representatives of robotics. According to them, the low use of robotics solutions is due to lack of innovative industries and qualified professionals.
In 2019, Lithuanian Robotics Association estimated that there were 10 to 20 industrial robots per 10,000 industrial workers, now number has increased to 25. However, these are only preliminary figures – there are no exact statistics on the number of robots used in Lithuanian industry, but they lag far behind the European average.
Find full Lithuanian article in Verslo žinios (appeared on 11th of February, 2022)
Not everyone wants to digitize
Aurelijus Beleckis, CEO at Elinta Robotics, specializing in industrial robotics solutions, says that the business has turned to robotics during pandemic. In 2018, according to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, robots were used by 3.2% – 4.6% of companies.
Companies that rushed to digitalize also contributed to the company’s revenue growth – last year, according to A. Beleckis, Elinta Robotics more than doubled its sales revenue, to 3.7 million Eur. The company says it already has pre-orders for that amount this year.
‘More innovative companies have used robotics solutions in the past, but the pandemic has opened wounds of many others. They treated employees as part of the equipment and counted them as hourly units, but when they saw that because of cleaner entire factory shift was shutting down, it further encouraged companies to automate,’ says A. Beleckis.
However, he emphasizes that, despite the growth of robotization solutions in Lithuania, the gap with Western or even Central European countries such as the Czech Republic or Slovakia is huge.
We outpace Latvians and Estonians
Daumantas Simėnas, CEO at Lithuanian Robotics Association, points out that compared to other Baltic countries, the industry in Lithuania is much more robotic. Preliminarily, according to the installations of industrial robots, Lithuania is twice ahead of Estonia, even more with Latvia.
However, D. Simėnas also agrees that the scale of industrial digitization is too small.
‘Digitization should take a more prominent place in the country’s strategy papers. Industry is one of the most important strategic sectors, accounting for a large share of Gross domestic product. Its modernization must take precedence over all strategic documents. If we do not invest in the industry, we will lag even further behind other countries and the products of our companies will become uncompetitive,’ says the head of the association.
According to him, the digitization of the industry is creating a medium for the development of new, value-added products, such as the robot RoboBend developed by Lithuanian company Factobotics, which is replacing the operators working at the machine.
‘We should also not be afraid to spend money on experimentation with artificial intelligence, process, robotics or automation projects. Allocate smaller amounts to get more innovators to try creating products – many of them will fail, but one in 10 or 20 will succeed. To my knowledge, there is no free approach and experimentation in Lithuania,’ says D. Simėnas.