The Robotics Revolution

The Robotics Revolution

The Next Great Leap in Manufacturing

Boston Consulting Group, 2015 more...

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


If you thought the robotics revolution in manufacturing was long over, think again. Intelligent robots that can process visual information, make judgements about quality and communicate with manufacturing systems are becoming not only commonplace, but affordable. Boston Consulting Group partners Harold L. Sirkin, Michael Zinser and Justin Ryan Rose present their analysis of automation across 21 industries and 25 countries. They establish which tasks in which industries are automatable, and determine the likelihood that various industries will adopt robotic solutions. getAbstract recommends this cogent analysis to small-business owners, CEOs and operations managers.


Since the 1960s, the number of manufacturing robots has increased to about 1.4 million globally. Economic, regulatory and industry constraints confine the majority of robots to large companies in China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. The costs of robots’ hardware, software and installation are in decline. It is viable for even small companies to automate once the cost falls to 15% below that of manual labor. Automation makes the greatest savings in manufacturing, where labor is the main cost of production. Well-paid industries, like electronics production...

About the Authors

Harold L. Sirkin and Michael Zinser are senior partners at The Boston Consulting Group and Justin Ryan Rose is a partner.

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