Maksim Reshetnikov about robots: 'We can't import technologies that will be created without us'

KAMAZ presented the concept of robotisation of K5 assembly production to the Arab guests, in response, they offered to develop partnership together

Maksim Reshetnikov about robots: 'We can't import technologies that will be created without us'
Photo: Maksim Platonov

At the plenary session of the International Economic Summit “Russia — Islamic World”, the head of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, Maksim Reshetnikov, convinced Arab guests that KAMAZ drones are not scary and safe. The executive director of the automobile plant, Yury Gerasimov, himself said that robots will soon “capture” 1,582 new jobs on the assembly line for K5, but this will not worsen the employment situation in the automotive city.

Federal guests at KazanSummit 2021

The 12th International Economic Summit “Russia — he Islamic World: KazanSummit 2021" opened on 28 July at the main exhibition site — Kazan Expo. The main guests of the first day were Minister of Economic Development of the country Maksim Reshetnikov and President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. The high-ranking official from the federal government is participating in the Kazan economic summit for the first time in 12 years, which undoubtedly increases the status of the event.

As Rustam Minnikhanov later noted, during the preparation of the forum, “a federal element has been missing for a long time”, which would strengthen the “mandate” of KazanSummit 2021 in the eyes of Arab investors. Representatives of 48 countries and 25 regions of Russia are participating in the work. The summit is aimed at developing cooperation and maintaining a dialogue between Russia and the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the economic, political and cultural spheres.

This time, the State Minister of Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zayyudi, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Manufacturers of Machine-Building Products of Turkey (MIB) Emre Genjer, Secretary General of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) H. E. Youssef Hassan Halavi and other guests arrived in Kazan.

As Rustam Minnikhanov later noted, during the preparation of the forum, “a federal element has been missing for a long time”, which would strengthen the “mandate” of KazanSummit 2021 in the eyes of Arab investors.

Maxim Reshetnikov welcomed the guests at the opening of the Russia — Islamic World Summit:

“I would like to say words of gratitude to the great team of Tatarstan for organising the large-scale event, for the fact that it is being held for the 12th time. Despite the peculiarities of the situation, there is an opportunity to meet face-to-face, look into each other's eyes and talk about how the world is changing, how important Russia's openness is, how important integration into new opportunities is, and it is important to talk about interaction with the Islamic world.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a greeting card to the guests. And Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov stressed that Russia's cooperation with the Islamic world is a priority determined by the head of the state.

Ministry of Economy's view on the “digitisation” of Russia

At the plenary session, the guests discussed the global trend towards the digitalisation of industry, which is observed in advanced countries and which affected Russia. According to Maksim Reshetnikov, today it is quite obvious that the main direction of industrial development will determine the course towards digitalisation, which is commonly called “Industry 4.0". Here it is impossible to do without the use of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technologies, and all new companies in Russia are turning to the robotisation of business processes. These technologies, according to the head of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, should become drivers of economic growth in the country.

“The very quality of growth will change. Here, digitalisation and the use of artificial intelligence come to the fore. For this purpose, the mechanism of experimental legal regimes for newly emerging technologies is being launched. These are unmanned cargo transportation, driverless taxis, big data processing, telemedicine. Now five major projects are being at the launch stage," he said and added that they are associated with a technological breakthrough. According to Reshetnikov, business partners from Islamic countries are showing interest in them. “We have an effective cooperation with the Arab fund Mubadala, which has financed more than 50 projects on the introduction of new technologies," the speaker noted.

According to Maksim Reshetnikov, today it is quite obvious that the main direction of industrial development will determine the course towards digitalisation

“KAMAZ is one of the leaders, and I'm serious about this!”

The moderator of the plenary session, TV journalist Natalia Semenikhina, wanted to give the discussion a tone of light irony. She noted that she “would not like to get into a taxi without a driver”, and an unmanned KAMAZ on the highway scares her at all. “Are you really serious?" she asked aloud. The joke was, as they say, “shaggy-dog”, but the federal minister made it clear that he did not want to joke about the advanced technologies of KAMAZ at this summit.

“If answering this question seriously, then this is also being discussed," retorted Reshetnikov. “We should create opportunities for safe running-in of technologies. I think everyone will agree that this is the future, and it is very important for us to go ahead of the future, and not import technologies that will be created somewhere there without us. KAMAZ is one of the leaders, and I'm serious about this! Together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, we are working on these projects on a weekly basis and rely on domestic leaders.”

Then the executive director of the automobile plant, Yury Gerasimov, came to the podium, who, as if nothing had happened, presented the concept of robotisation of the auto giant. He said that RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technologies cover business processes in the main functional divisions for the assembly of the flagship K5 truck. According to him, 224 KUKA, ABB, Fanuc robots are installed here.

In terms of automation of assembly processes, KAMAZ is ahead of other machine-building plants in Russia. Moreover, we are not talking about replacing existing personnel, but about opening new jobs for robots. According to Gerasimov, in the future robots will “capture” 1,582 new jobs on the assembly line for K5, but this will not interfere with the level of employment in avtograd. Economic effect was not long in coming — costs were reduced by 15%, he said.

Yury Gerasimov said that RPA technologies cover business processes in the main divisions for the assembly of the K5 truck

In continuation of the topic “robots against people”, Dmitry Kapishnikov, CEO of KUKA Robotics (Germany), assured that Russia lags behind European countries in terms of the density of robots in production.

“The number of robots per 10,000 working is 20 times less than in the world," he said.

According to him, enterprises will switch to robotic labour, but without compromising employment. And as an example, he cited South Korea, Germany and Italy, where unemployment is still lower than in Russia. Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov did not elaborate on this topic, but considered it necessary to point out that KAMAZ is the world leader, no kidding.

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Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan