Asia Leads In The Race To Dominate The Industrial Robotics Market
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Days are not far when human beings will lose all jobs to robots. For decades now, there has been a battle of man vs machine but it’s far from clear if humans will win.
A recent ‘World Robotics Report’ by International Federation of Robotics (IFR), a professional non-profit organization, shows that a new record high of 381,000 robot units was shipped globally in 2017, an increase of 30 per cent compared to the previous year.
This means that the annual sales volume of industrial robots increased by 114 per cent over the last five years (2013-2017).
The report further shared five major markets representing 73 per cent of the total robot sales volume in 2017: China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Germany.
China: China is already flooded with start-ups working on robotics technology. The country has significantly expanded its leading position with the strongest demand and a market share of 36 per cent of the total supply in 2017. With sales of about 138,000 industrial robots (2016-2017: +59 per cent) China´s sales volume was higher than the total sales volume of Europe and the Americas combined (112,400 units).
Japan: As per the report, Japan´s manufacturers delivered 56 per cent of the global supply in 2017. This makes Japan the world´s number one industrial robot manufacturer. Additionally, the robot sales in Japan increased by 18 per cent (45,566 units), representing the second highest value ever witnessed for this country.
Korea: The manufacturing industry of the Republic of Korea has by far the highest robot density in the world – more than 8 times the global average amount. However, in 2017, the robot supplies decreased by 4 per cent (39,732 units). The main driver of this development was the electronics industry that reduced robot installations by 18 per cent in 2017. The year before, industrial robot installations peaked at 41,373 units.
United States: Robot installations in the United States continued to increase to a new peak in 2017, for the seventh year in a row and reached 33,192 units. This is 6 per cent higher than in 2016. Since 2010, the driver of the growth in all manufacturing industries in the U.S. has been the ongoing trend to automate production in order to strengthen the U.S. industries in both domestic and global markets.
Germany: Germany is the fifth largest robot market in the world and number one in Europe. In 2017, the number of robots sold increased by 7 per cent to 21,404 units - a new all-time record - compared to 2016 (20,074 units). Between 2014 and 2016, annual sales of industrial robots stagnated at around 20,000 units.