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Robots in Thailand

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Companies try replacing workers with more robots & machines as new 300 baht minimum wage makes people too expensive. 

A machinery exhibition attracts interest from more SME operators looking to save costs.

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Telecommunications

Robots ready to replace human labour

Cost pressures cancel concerns by employers
3/12/2012
Nanchanok Wongsamuth

With the daily minimum wage rising to 300 baht nationwide on Jan 1, businesses are attempting to lower their production costs by turning to machinery and robots to replace or complement manual labour.

...cutting steel by using gas, plasma and wire can be slow and result in an untidy finish. Using laser cutting means less labour is needed for finishing processes such as welding.

It takes three hours to cut 20 pieces of steel using plasma compared with slightly over an hour for ... laser ....

While laser cutting is used mostly in the construction, machinery, elevator and auto-parts sectors, welding robots are becoming popular in the automotive and agriculture sectors.

[There have been rising orders for robots] ... since the daily minimum wage rose to 300 baht in Bangkok and some other provinces in April...

[The Japanese company] ... Yaskawa Electric ... said the company received its first orders from the farm machinery sector last year from Bangkok and other provinces... [one company] ordered 20-30 robots ... Thailand has a lot of farm machinery makers... 

The company sold 600-700 welding robots last year and expects to sell 500-600 this year. Next year, it plans to boost sales to 700-800 robots thanks to the growth of the automotive sector, where companies such as Mazda and Ford are producing eco-cars....

... in countries such as Japan, fewer than 100 workers can be found in an automotive company compared with almost 1,000 in Thailand.

...Yaskawa Electric... has increasingly penetrated the small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) market in car accessories, especially in the Northeast.

Currently, 70-80% of the company's sales are to large companies.

... SMEs have problems concerning payment, as they want to use the robot first in order to generate money to pay for the robot. This is the problem every large-scale machinery firm is experiencing...

...[the company] ...called on the government to help by providing low-interest loans for SMEs to purchase machinery or by acting as a guarantor...

The starting price for a welding robot has increased from 900,000 baht to 2 million. 

...business operators have been increasingly seeking welding robots since the start of this year. 

...The wage hike is only one factor, but another thing is the difficulty in finding welders... 

The Switzerland-based robotics company ABB ...has seen annual sales double over the past two years due mainly to growth in the automotive sector. 

This year, ABB plans to sell 200 Swedish-made robots priced from 1-10 million baht apiece, while a complete robotic system costs 10 million baht.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Telecommunications, Robots ready to replace human labour, Cost pressures cancel concerns by employers, 3/12/2012, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, link


Industrial Robots Vocabulary

robot -
a machine that can do work by itself, often work that humans do (See Wikipedia)
robotics - the science of designing and building robots (See Wikipedia)

industrial robot - a robot used in manufacturing (See Wikipedia)

welding
- the job of joining pieces of metal together using electricity (arc welding) or gas (See Wikipedia)
welders - skilled workers who do welding work

welding robots - robots used to do welding which humans to do, "robot arc welding has begun growing quickly just recently, and already it commands about 20% of industrial robot applications" (See Wikipedia)

plasma welding - plasma arc welding (PAW), on type of arc welding (See Wikipedia)
arc welding - "a type of welding that uses a welding power supply to create an electric arc between an electrode and the base material to melt the metals at the welding point" (See Wikipedia)

replace - to get rid of someone or something, and to put a new person or thing in its place เลิกให้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน หาคนมาแทน
replace human labour
robots ready to replace human labour

employers - companies that hire workers
employees - workers who work for companies

pressures - when the situation forces, pushes or makes someone do something กดดันให้ทำ, กระตุ้นให้ทำ
cost pressures

concerns - things that people are worried about; worries ความกังวล
cost pressures cancel concerns by employers

wage - an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
daily minimum wage - the lowest possible amount of money that can be paid for one day's work

nationwide - throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ  ทั่วประเทศ

with the daily minimum wage rising to 300 baht nationwide on Jan 1st

manual
- done using hands
manual labour - work done using the hands and the body (opposite: office work at desk with computer) (See Wikipedia)
 
complement -
สิ่งที่ทำให้เต็มหรือสมบูรณ์, ส่งเสริม, องค์ประกอบ, ส่วนประกอบ
complement manual labour

businesses are attempting to lower their production costs by turning to machinery and robots to replace or complement manual labour.

tidy - orderly;  not messy; when a place is made to better by putting things in their right place เรียบร้อย, ที่เป็นระเบียบ, ที่เป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
untidy - messy; not orderly or in order ซึ่งไม่เรียบร้อยและสกปรก, ซึ่งไม่เป็นระเบียบ, ซึ่งยุ่งเหยิง 

finish  
- the appearance and feel of a surface, the texture, whether it is smooth or rough พื้นผิวที่เคลือบไว้หรือเนื้อของไม้หรือโลหะ
untidy finish - a rough and uneven surface and texture

...cutting steel by using gas, plasma and wire can be slow and result in an untidy finish. Using laser cutting means less labour is needed for finishing processes such as welding

it takes three hours to cut 20 pieces of steel using plasma compared with slightly over an hour for ... laser ....

purchase order - 
a formal document requesting the supply of goods or services, giving details of the goods, price, conditions of delivery and payment, etc (See Wikipedia)

rising orders -
increasing purchase orders; more people want to buy the product in the future
the company has seen rising orders

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)

construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
construction sector

machinery sector
elevator sector
auto-parts sector
automotive
sector
agriculture sector
farm machinery sector
farm machinery makers

while laser cutting is used mostly in the construction, machinery, elevator and auto-parts sectors, welding robots are becoming popular in the automotive and agriculture sectors.

[The Japanese company] ... Yaskawa Electric ... said the company received its first orders from the farm machinery sector last year from Bangkok and other provinces... [one company] ordered 20-30 robots ... Thailand has a lot of farm machinery makers... 

boost - to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
boost sales - increase sales
 
eco-car - green car, green vehicle, an environmentally friendly vehicle,  "a road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel, or one that uses certain alternative fuels. Presently, in some countries the term is used for any vehicle complying or surpassing the more stringent European emission standards (such as Euro6), or California's zero emissions vehicle standards (such as ZEV, ULEV, SULEV, PZEV), or the low-carbon fuel standards enacted in several countries" (See Wikipedia)

The company sold 600-700 welding robots last year and expects to sell 500-600 this year. Next year, it plans to boost sales to 700-800 robots thanks to the growth of the automotive sector, where companies such as Mazda and Ford are producing eco-cars....

...He said in countries such as Japan, fewer than 100 workers can be found in an automotive company compared with almost 1,000 in Thailand.

enterprise - a company or organization  กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

acccessory -
addiotional things; extra things added on to something; 1. additional equipment that makes something more useful or productive; 2. additional objects that make something more attractive such as a hat or purse in fashion 
car accessories

penetrate -
when a company enters a new market successfully (and makes money in the market)
penetrate a market

...Yaskawa Electric... has increasingly penetrated the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market in car accessories, especially in the Northeast.

Currently, 70-80% of the company's sales are to large companies.

generate - to produce ก่อให้เกิด create สร้าง กระตุ้นให้เิกิด
generate money - make money, generate profits from a business
use the robot first in order to generate money to pay for it

... SMEs have problems concerning payment, as they want to use the robot first in order to generate money to pay for it.

scale - size (relative size)
large-scale - has large size compared to others

machine
(noun) - equipment that does some job; electrical, mechanical, computer-driven เครื่องจักร, เครื่องกล, เครื่องยนต์
machinery
(noun, plural) -  machines, more than one machine (the plural of "machine")

firm - a business or company บริษัท
machinery firm - a company that makes machines
large-scale machinery firm

experience -
have something happen to you; undergo something มีประสบการณ์, ได้รับประสบการณ์, ประสบกับ
experiencing a problem

this is the problem every large-scale machinery firm is experiencing...

interest - payments made for the use of another's money for a period of time
low-interest loans

purchase - buy  
purchase machinery

guarantor - 1. a person who agrees to be responsible for something or somebody; 2. a person or an organization that agrees to pay back a loan or a debt, etc. if the person or company that borrowed the money is not able to do so, underwriter, backer, sponsor ผู้ค้ำประกัน, นายประกัน, ผู้ค้ำประกัน
acting as a guarantor

...[the company] ...called on the government to help by providing low-interest loans for SMEs to purchase machinery or by acting as a guarantor...

operators - businesses doing this business
business operators have been increasingly seeking welding robots since the start of this year 

factor - a fact or situation which influences the result of something ปัจจัย
...the wage hike is only one factor, but another thing is the difficulty in finding welders... 

annual - happening once a year ประจำปี
annual sales

double - to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า
annual sales double

the Switzerland-based robotics company ABB ...has seen annual sales double over the past two years due mainly to the growth in the automotive sector

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