- The very high level of the Swiss average salary (CHF 6,538, three times the EU average) poses a challenge to maintain industrial production in Switzerland.
- 850,000 occupational accidents in Switzerland by 2019
- Decentralization abroad poses problems of control over the supply chain : theft of intellectual property, loss of flexibility, disruption of the transport chain in the event of a pandemic, and so on.
Intelligent automation and continuous innovation allow to make Swiss industrial sites more competitive. Computer vision technologies and autonomous mobile robotics are particularly important to avoid accidents, increase quality and reduce costs. They are strategic to keep part of the production in Switzerland with the made in Switzerland label and maximum flexibility.
The safety of employees on dangerous sites can be guaranteed by working remotely using robots and drones equipped with object recognition, positioning and anti-collision alarm systems.
Strenghts & Weaknesses
Switzerland has a very strong presence in micromechanics, robotics and autonomous systems. The established companies (ABB, Schindler) are world class, as are the robotics and computer vision laboratories of the ETHZ and EPFL in particular. For example, 40% of European scientific quotations in robotics are of Swiss origin. A dense network of SMEs specialized in the local production of high-precision and high-performance components (Maxon Motor, FAULHABER, Phoenix Mecano) also makes an important contribution. Switzerland has become a Drone Valley because of the numerous start-ups in this field and the beautiful releases realized (e.g., senseFly sold to Parrot). Start-ups are particularly strong in integrated systems for drones and robot systems for inspection on industrial sites (Flyability, ANYbotics, Voliro Airborne Robotics), mission control software and computer vision (Sevensense Robotics, Eyeware Tech, Miraex). Other start-ups provide track & tracing (SkyCell, Nexxiot,) and 3D printing for industrial applications (9T Labs, Mobbot) in particular.
There are many technological challenges to be solved in order to give a sufficient level of autonomy to the robots. They are also social to compensate for the net job losses. A new type of “ collaboration ” between humans and robots must be invented taking into account stakeholders’ interests.
- Cluster industry 4.0 in the world top five, European top two
- One of the three safest countries in the world by number of occupational accidents
- Three start-ups valued at more than CHF 1 billion