Surge in Schools' Robot Purchases

Universal Robots

Denmark's largest automation company, BILA, notes a steadily increasing interest from the entire education sector in providing Danish-developed collaborative robot technology from Universal Robots to students and apprentices. BILA has now delivered cobots to more than 50 Danish schools, and 60% of them have already purchased more than one cobot.


At CELF in Nykøbing Falster, students work on building and programming complete robot solutions. The school year has just started, which means that many small robots are being powered up in school laboratories. Tomorrow's employees need to be competent in automation.


"Actually, it's quite simple. The Danish industry won't get better solutions than what our competencies allow, and if we have external consultants involved all the time, automating becomes too expensive. Therefore, it is essential for the industry's operators, technicians, and integrators to have expertise in automation and robotics,"


Helge Glinvad Grøn, Associate Professor at UCN University College


For young individuals, it pays off to become versatile within automation. Automation technologists are, in 98% of cases, employed within three months after completing their education.


There are also many internship opportunities for automation and industrial technicians with a focus on robotics, whereas internship positions are scarce for traditional electricians.


This information comes from teacher Michael Pedersen at CELF in Nykøbing Falster: Many companies and workplaces do not have robots, even though it is the only way we can compete with low-wage areas. Our students can bring something valuable to their employers and increase automation in Denmark. We have five UR cobots because they are easy to handle, do not require safety enclosures, and are relatively simple to get started with, which is an advantage when you have students who need to learn something from the ground up. We use Universal Robots' online startup guide, and then the student is actually working on their own. Once we bought a robot of German make, but we never got further than calibrating it in 14 days and gave up on it.


"For schools, it makes a big difference that cobots cost about a third of the price compared to a traditional industrial robot. It paves the way for more students to gain hands-on experience with robot technology," 


Lars Skaarup Rasmussen, Head of Robotics


BILA A/S has been a distributor and major supplier of Universal Robots to Danish workplaces and educational institutions for six years.


Denmark's two national Centers of Excellence for Automation & Robotics, which work from the primary school level to qualify future labour, have contributed to financing some of the schools' new robot equipment. Also, at EUC Syd, where department manager for industrial education, Leif Keller Elsborg, and his colleagues annually train about 50 automation technologists and about 25 industrial technicians:


"There are stacks of exciting jobs because in the industry, there is a strong awareness that if we are to continue producing in Denmark in the future, automation is the way forward,"


Leif Keller Elsborg, Department Manager for Industrial Education


We have chosen UR robots because it has become a widely used robot, especially in the manufacturer's home market, and we also need the technology for both education and further training.


Published August 2021.

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