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As Baby Boomers Retire, German Businesses Turn to Robots

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A man stands next to a robot machine at ROLEC Gehause-Systeme in Rinteln, Germany.

Heavy investment in automation by car makers and other industrial giants means Germany is already the world's fourth-biggest market for robots, and the largest in Europe.

Credit: Matthias Rose/REUTERS

As Germany's baby boomers retire, exacerbating the country's labor shortage, many companies are filling job openings with robots.

As robots become more affordable and user-friendly, small businesses increasingly are turning to automation.

Around half of the Japanese-made robots sold by FANUC Germany are going to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Said FANUC Germany's Ralf Winkelmann, "Robots enable the survival of companies that see their future at risk due to staff shortages."

Meanwhile, in a recent survey by robot marketplace automatica, almost 50% of German workers indicated they believe robots can mitigate staffing shortages.

In contrast, Daimler Truck's Michael Brecht said, "There is nothing more flexible than a human. The more complex the production, the more differentiated, the harder it becomes to use robots."

From Reuters
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