Robotics demand: Who’s buying and where’s the growth?

The worldwide robotics market revenue has touched $16.5 billion from 422,000 units (+6 percent) in 2018.
Robot markets in 2019International Federation of Robotics (IFR) forecasts robotics shipments in 2019 will recede from the record level in 2018, but expects an average growth of 12 percent per year from 2020 to 2022.

“Outlook shows that the automation trend and continued technical improvements will result in double digit growth – with an estimate of about 584,000 units in 2022,” said Junji Tsuda, president of IFR.

Robotics installations in China and the Republic of Korea declined, while Japan increased considerably. Asia’s robotics market grew 1 percent. Robot installations in the second largest market, Europe, increased 14 percent. In the Americas, the growth rate of robotics reached 20 percent more than the year.

Five major industrial robot markets — China, Japan, Republic of Korea, the United States and Germany — represent 74 percent of global installations in 2018.

China is the world’s largest industrial robot market with 36 percent share. China has installed about 154,000 units (–1 percent) of industrial robots. The value of robotics installations in China reached $5.4 billion (+21 percent) in 2018.

Chinese robot suppliers increased their share of total installations on the domestic market by 5 percentage points (2018: 27 percent vs. 2017: 22 percent). Installations of foreign robot suppliers on the other hand (including units produced in China by non-Chinese suppliers) decreased by 7 percent to about 113,000 units (2017: about 122,000 units). This reduction is also caused by a weakening automobile industry.

Japan’s robot sales increased 21 percent to about 55,000 units. Japan is the world´s number one industrial robot manufacturer and delivered 52 percent of the global supply in 2018, said the IFR report.

Robot installations in the United States reached about 40,300 units, registering 22 percent growth. United States has taken third position from the Republic of Korea in terms of annual installations.

The annual robot installations in the Republic of Korea declined 5 percent to about 38,000 units in 2018.

Germany is the fifth largest robot market in the world and number one in Europe, followed by Italy and France. In 2018, the number of robots sold increased by 26 percent to almost 27,000 units – a new all-time record. Installations are mainly driven by the automotive industry.

The automotive industry remains the largest adopter of robots globally with a share of almost 30 percent of the total supply. Growth of robotics in automobile industry was 2 percent in 2018 as compared with 21 percent in 2017.

79 percent of industrial robot installations took place in 5 key markets: China (39,351 units), Japan (17,346 units), Germany (15,673 units), the United States (15,246 units) and the Republic of Korea (11,034 units).

India, the world’s fourth largest vehicle producer by OICA’s production statistics, had about 2,100 industrial robots installed in its automotive industry.

Robot installations in the electrical / electronics industry declined 14 percent from their peak level of about 122,000 units in 2017 to 105,000 units in 2018. 79 percent of the total installations in the electrical/electronics industry were installed in three countries with major production sites: China (43 percent), Republic of Korea (19 percent), Japan (17 percent).

Robot installations in the metal and machinery industry accounted for 10 percent of total demand in 2018. Both producers of metal products (without automotive parts) and producers of industrial machinery have bought substantial amounts of robots in recent years.

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