Every industrial robot, no matter how strong, needs a human to guide it. This human is the robotist, one of the highly valued professions in Industry 4.0. The profession does not require specific training, but many companies ask for experience with equipment at the time of hiring.
Marco Antônio Germano, 27, is a robotist. He graduated in 2014 from the Senai Mechatronics course in São Caetano do Sul and has since worked in different areas, from home automation to industrial robotics. “I liked robotics and I saw that to work in the area I had to be a mechatronic,” he says, who today acts as a robot in Senai’s own mobile schools.
The occupation is not yet regulated in Brazil and, therefore, can be performed by any professional. Even so, courses more suitable for those who want to work in the area, such as mechatronics and industrial robotics, have registered an increase in demand. Where Germano studied, for example, there is a waiting list to enter one of these programs.
According to Siqueira, the ABC region of São Paulo has sought professionals capable of dealing with industrial robotics, as it is the largest hub of the national automotive industry. “The mechatronics professional is multidisciplinary. So it has been very well accepted, ”he says. In the course, students work with leading brands in industrial robotics, learning how to program their operation on a production line.
Robot factories provide training for teams that will deal directly with equipment on production lines. Wagner Rodrigues, general manager of the Brazilian operation of industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc, says that the worker who will deal with a robot does not need a university education, for example.
The advantage of becoming a robotist is that the robot market grows, with or without crisis. “In recession, companies automate to cut costs. When the economy grows, they automate because they need to increase production, ”says the executive.
By 2019, the International Robotics Federation (IFR) believes that more than 480,000 industrial robots are expected to reach factories. That’s 100 thousand more than was sold in 2017 worldwide. In Latin America, growth is expected to be 21% over the next three years.
In Brazil, the IFR forecast is that 3,500 should be purchased this year, it seems little, but it is an increase of almost 200% over three years ago. Even during the crisis, the sector has accelerated in the country. Fanuc states that it has grown 25% per year since 2013 worldwide.
A collaborative robot that can work with humans is one of the most modern. It has cameras to detect a person’s presence and force sensors that cause him to stop his movement when touched by the human hand. Felipe Ferreira, the company’s commercial manager, says that these robots are used on slow-moving production lines. For welding, they are not recommended, but for inspection they can do a good job.