Industrial companies are expected to invest heavily in robotics and automation, find partner Emily Shao and coauthors. According to the 2022 McKinsey Global Industrial Robotics Survey, automated systems will account for 25 percent of capital spending over the next five years. The robots won’t come for every task, though: while activities such as picking, packing, and sorting will continue to veer toward automation, assembly, stamping, and welding, all of which require high levels of human input, are less likely to be automated.

The key use cases for automation in industrial companies include material handling, palletization, and sorting.

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The image is a data visualization of the various responses from a McKInsey Global Industrial Robotics Survey from August 2022, made up of horizontal bars broken into segments of likelihood. The image animates onto the screen. The information displayed visually shows respondents feeling on likelihood of where they see robots being most effective within fifteen industrial circumstances. Respondents see robots being most effective in areas like palletization and packaging, and material handling and ground movement, and lest effective in areas like stamping, and welding and soldering.

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To read the article, see “Unlocking the industrial potential of robotics and automation,” January 6, 2023.