Vietnam attractive to world’s robot manufacturers
Vietnam is believed to be a very attractive market for the world’s robot manufacturers as more and more local enterprises are using robots and speeding up automation in their production.
Vinamilk, for example, has spent VND2.4 trillion on its automatic production development program.
At its factories, filling, pasteurizing, packing and loading products into pallets are implemented automatically, while carrying materials and finished products, and warehousing, are the work of self-propelled robots.
At Vinasoy’s factory in Binh Duong province, the production line also runs automatically, while all the steps of the packaging process are undertaken by robots. Other enterprises, including URC, Habeco and CP, are using robots.
Vietnam is considered a promising market for robot manufacturers and suppliers.
Three out of four leading brands in the world robot market, namely ABB (Switzerland), Yaskawa (Japan) and Kuka (China), are present in Vietnam.
Huynh Phong Phu from ABB said that robot demand in Vietnam is increasing rapidly.
Only 200-300 ABB robots were sold in Vietnam by 2015, while the figure has increased to 2,000-3,000 each year since 2016.
Realizing the great potential of the Vietnamese market, foreign manufacturers have been flocking to Vietnam.
Many robot models were introduced at the annual exhibition on electronics assembling and supporting industries held in mid-October 2017 in HCM City.
It was estimated that products bearing 500 brands from 25 countries and territories, including Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Singapore, Taiwan (China) and Thailand, were displayed there.
More recently, in mid-December 2017, a group of 12 Korean robot manufacturers visited Vietnam to learn about the market.
Phu of ABB believes that Vietnam is the fastest growing market in ASEAN and will see a boom in 2-3 years because of the cheap labor force and high percentage of young workers.
The good investment environment in Vietnam will prompt foreign manufacturers, especially from the RoK and Japan, to set up factories in Vietnam to make products for export.
In fact, Vietnam could have begun manufacturing robots more than 10 years ago.
The first robot was created by Le Hoai Quoc, who is now head of the HCM City Hi-tech Park Board of Management.
After that, some models were introduced, but were mostly created for performance and entertainment.
Some enterprises carried out robot R&D projects, but they were not sure about market demand.
Vietnamese enterprises, which now have demand for industrial robots, have been importing robots in recent years.
Tran Thanh Thuy, former deputy head of the Institute of Electronics – Computer Science – Automation, said that Vietnam is capable of researching and manufacturing industrial robots with production costs much lower than imports.