president of the Robotic Industries Association, Richard Litt, has a unique vision for 2008. According to a recent press release, Litt plans to focus the RIA's efforts on attracting robot system integrators and expanding the industry's customer base.
Robot System Integrators
Litt is the first RIA president with a background in robot system integration
. Before taking his current position, he was president of Genesis Systems. He understands the challenges and needs integrators have. Litt sees robot system integrators as a "rapidly growing and largely untapped membership subgroup."
He has noticed that many robot manufacturers
and suppliers are moving away from customized integration
. Instead, they are beginning to rely on robot integrators to provide turnkey systems to customers. Integrators could truly benefit from the networking opportunities provided through the RIA. Litt hopes to add programming and support systems specifically geared for this subgroup.
Reaching New Markets
Newly released 2007 statistics show automotive companies still have a huge impact on robot sales. Last year they accounted for 64% of all robot orders. However, Litt realizes this isn't the only market for robots. In fact, the future of the industry relies on finding new
sales opportunities with food, medical, military, and other companies.
In order to keep the industry afloat in the midst of a rapidly changing marketplace, Litt and RIA's Vice President Jeff Burnstein plan to focus on key concerns and expand the industry's customer base. The work has already started. In a recent article, Burnstein talked about his plans to update the organization's website, http://www.robotics.org/
, so it has more to offer customers from non-automotive industries. The first item is a tutorial explaining the advantages of robot automation
in the plastics industry. The Robots 2008 Conference in June will be focused on attracting new
customers in new