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Record growth in Global robotics industry, European Union occupies top position in the global automation race, China, the market for growth

During the last decade, the advent of robotics has phenomenally transformed the industrial sector in terms of manufacturing capability. They are traditionally used to carry out tasks that are complex, repetitive or hazardous to enhance productivity, quality and reduce operational costs for the manufacturers, according to Frost Perspectives.

The global industrial robotics market is expected to reach US$ XX Billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of over 8% between 2016 and 2021. The adoption of automation to ensure quality production and meet market demand, and the growing demand from small- and medium-scale enterprises in developing countries is fueling the growth of industrial robotics market globally.

On the basis of segment, the automotive industry accounted for highest share of the industrial robotics market. The electrical and electronics segment is the second largest market for industrial robotics and is expected to grow at double digit CAGR between 2016 and 2021. The metal industry is the third largest market for industrial robotics. Chemical, rubber and plastics industry is the fourth largest market for industrial robotics, while food industry accounted for over XX% share of the global industrial robotics market.

In terms of region, the five major markets including China, South Korea, Japan, United States, and Germany accounted for around 75% of the total industrial robotics sales volume in 2015. Asia/Australia is the world’s largest market for industrial robots, driven by growing demand for industrial robots from small- and medium-scale enterprises in China, Japan, South Korea, and India. Europe is the second leading region for industrial robotics market. Americas is the third largest market for industrial robots.

“Automation is a central competitive factor for traditional manufacturing groups, but is also becoming increasingly important for small and medium-sized enterprises around the world”, says Joe Gemma, President of the International Federation.

iGATE RESEARCH report titled “Global Robotics Market (Industrial and Service Robotics) and Volume Forecast to 2021” provides a comprehensive assessment of the fast-evolving, high-growth Global Robotics Industry.

Rising cost of labor and increasing vehicle production to drive the global automotive robotics market. The global automotive robotics market is estimated to be USD 5.07 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach USD 8.44 billion by 2021

Service robots have witnessed widespread acceptance among various professional and personal applications. Professional service robots are employed in various industries including medical, defense, rescue and security, agriculture, logistics, construction, and professional cleaning among others, whereas personal service robots are used for domestic and entertainment and leisure purpose. The global service robotics market is expected to reach nearly US$ 13 Billion by 2021. In 2015, professional service robots accounted for XX% share of the global service robotics market. The market for domestic and personal service robotics segment is expected to grow during the forecast period, owing to high demand of service robots from the domestic and entertainment sectors and rise in disposable income of consumers.

In 2015, medical application was the major industry vertical, in terms of market share. Medical application employs service robots for a wide range of applications such as surgery, diagnostics, physical and mental therapy, and prosthetics among others. On the basis of product, the medical robots market is categorized into instruments & accessories and medical robot systems. In 2016, the instruments and accessories segment is expected to command the largest share is likely to grow at the higher CAGR during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets report. This market is expected to reach USD 12.80 Billion by 2021 from USD 4.90 Billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 21.1%.

The medical robot systems segment is further divided into surgical robot systems, rehabilitation robots, noninvasive radiosurgery, hospital & pharmacy robots, and other medical robotic systems. The surgical robot systems segment is estimated to command the largest share of the medical robot systems market in 2016. This large share can be attributed to rising preference for minimally invasive surgeries, growing number of robotic laparoscopy procedures, and increasing neurological conditions requiring robotic procedures. However, the rehabilitation robot systems segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Factors attributing the high growth of this segment include increasing adoption of exoskeletons for rehabilitation therapy, rising prevalence of stroke, increasing use of assistive robots by geriatric population, and growing use of therapeutic robots for autism

The defense segment accounted for second largest share of the professional service robotics market in 2015. The implementation of robotics in agriculture is expected to bring out transformational result in coming years. The use of service robots in logistic industry is anticipated to show substantial growth. The growing online shopping space is the primary growth driver for this market.

In the race for automation in manufacturing, the European Union is currently one of the global frontrunners: 65 percent of countries with an above-average number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees, are located in the EU. The strongest growth drivers for the robotics industry are found in China; however, in 2019 some 40 percent of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots will be sold there alone. So says the 2016 World Robotics Report, as published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR)


China, the market for growth

With a national 10-year plan – entitled “Made in China 2025” – the country is aiming to become one of the top technological industrial nations within just a few years. However, in order to achieve Beijing’s target of a robot density of 150 units by 2020, some 600,000 to 650,000 new industrial robots will have to be installed throughout China. By comparison: Around 254,000 units were sold in the global market during 2015. Nevertheless, today China is already a leading sales market. At around 68,600 units sold, the statistics for 2015 were 20 percent above the previous year’s figures, thereby exceeding the volume of sales for all European markets combined (50,100 units). Total sales will increase by 30% in 2016 and between 2016 and 2019 by 20% on average to more than 400,000 units in 2019. This will be 40% of the total sales in 2019.

The Republic of Korea and Japan come in second and third place, as the world’s largest sales markets for industrial robots. The number of units sold in 2015 grew by 55 percent in the Republic of Korea, and by 20 percent in Japan. Together with Singapore, these two countries lead the rankings of the global automated economies for robot density in manufacturing. With a stable economic situation, it may be expected that both Korea and Japan will see average annual growth of 5 percent in sales of robots from 2016 to 2019.


North America on path to success

The USA is currently the fourth largest single market for industrial robots in the world. Within the NAFTA area (USA, Canada and Mexico), the total number of newly installed industrial robots rose by 17 percent to a new record of some 36,000 units (2015). The leader of the pack was the USA, accounting for three-quarters of all units sold. 5 percent growth was recorded. With a comparatively much smaller amount of units, the demand in Canada increased by 49 percent (5,466 units), while that in Mexico grew by 119 percent (3,474 units). With a stable economic situation, it may be expected that North America will see average annual growth of 5 to 10 percent in sales of robots from 2016 to 2019


Robots and jobs

The enormous automation programmes with robots had a positive effect on employment not only in the US. In the German automotive sector, the number of employees likewise increased parallel to the growth of robotic automation: The increase between 2010 and 2015 averaged 2.5 percent – the operational stock of industrial robots showed a parallel increase averaging three percent per year. The positive effect of automation on the number of jobs is confirmed by a study recently published by the ZEW, in partnership with the University of Utrecht. In essence, reduced production costs result in better market prices. The increasing demand then triggers more jobs.


By 2019, more than 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world – that’s the latest forecast from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

This trend toward global automation, according to the IRF, is aided by the following:

1.Energy-efficiency and new materials, e.g. carbon-composites, requiring new productions.

2. Global competitiveness requiring increased productivity and higher quality.

3. Growing consumer markets requiring expansion of production capacities.

4. Decreasing life-cycles of products and increasing variety of products requiring flexible automation.

5. Robots improving the quality of work by taking over dangerous, tedious and dirty jobs that are not possible or safe for humans to perform.


Key players in the global medical robots market include Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (U.S.), Stryker Corporation (U.S.), Mazor Robotics Ltd. (Israel), Hocoma AG (Switzerland), Hansen Medical Inc. (U.S.), Accuray Incorporated (U.S.), Omnicell, Inc. (U.S.), Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (U.S.), ARxIUM (U.S.), and Kirby Lester LLC (U.S.).


Future trends

As far as technological trends are concerned, companies will, in the future, be concentrating on the collaboration of human and machine, simplified applications, and light-weight robots. Added to this are the two-armed robots, mobile solutions and the integration of robots into existing environments. There will be an increased focus on modular robots and robotic systems, which can be marketed at extremely attractive prices.

Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) has set the wheels in motion for the next global revolution. It envisions a connected world characterized by seamless connectivity, real-time monitoring, and smart decision making. An era of convergence is in the making with robots at the center, running factories and making real time decisions with their smart peripherals, according to the report titled “ Industrial Robotics- Decoding the Robotics Impact on Manufacturing “ Frost and Sullivan analyst Sharmila Annaswamy

The advantages of implementing IIoT in factories are many; asset maintenance, logistics, and predictive maintenance to name a few. By combining Big Data analytics and cloud computing, the robotics industry is expected to become more smart and perceptive to perform collaborative operations with humans during the forecast period. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is likely to widen market opportunities for industrial robots, with new business models aimed at market penetration and faster payback.



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