An industrial robot is referred to multipurpose, programmable & reprogrammable, manipulative, and automatically controlled machine employed in various industrial processes such as product inspection, assembly, and packaging. Several types of industrial robots including articulated, SCARA, parallel, Cartesian, and cylindrical robots, have been deployed across manufacturing facilities globally.
Market Vendors are Focusing on Provision of Complete Robotic Solutions
Robots have become an increasingly efficient workforce, when it comes to repetitive and dangerous tasks, such as grinding and de-burring. In a bid to reduce operational costs and comply with government scrutiny, adoption of robots has witnessed a surge in heavy industries. This has further led end-users in attaining operational flexibility, which is require to address different product requirements. Over the past few years, several startups have emerged, and are offering customized robotic solutions. Vendors of industrial robots are focusing on the provision of complete robotic solutions to handle all types of processes ranging from material handling to assembling.
Several research initiatives related to industrial robots, such as the European Union’s R&D program called the Horizon 2020, are expected to lead towards technological developments and innovations in the industry. In addition, growing M&A activities are likely to have huge influence on expansion of the industrial robots market. One great example of this is the acquisition of mechatronic systems company - Gomtec by ABB Limited, for increasing its product portfolio and market reach.
In terms of volume, the global industrial robots market will register a CAGR of over 15% throughout the forecast period (2017-2026), as projected by Future Market Insights’ (FMI) recently published report. Global volume sales of industrial robots are estimated to exceed 8,500 Mn units by 2026-end.
APEJ to Remain Largest Market for Industrial Robots
Growing popularity of smart factories in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan has entailed implementation of high standards for quality and precision of products, which in turn is propelling the adoption of industrial robots in the region. APEJ will continue to be the largest market for industrial robots, in terms of volume. However, Japan is anticipated to be the fastest expanding market for industrial robots, followed by Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Europe.
Parallel robots and Cartesian robots will continue to be sought-after among products, in terms of volume. However, sales of Cartesian robots will reflect a slightly higher CAGR than that of parallel robots through 2026. Adoption of articulated robots has surged across various industrial applications including welding, painting, machine tending, grinding, and polishing, owing to their characteristics such as increased speed, reliability, payload capacity, and larger work envelope. Sales of these robots will also witness an impressive expansion through 2026.
Industrial Robots to Find Largest End Use in Automotive Sector
Increased demand for passenger cars, with subsequent requirement for their inspection has resulted into a boom in the automotive sector, which in turn has boosted adoption of industrial robots in this sector. Currently, the automotive industry is where industrial robots find the largest end use in terms of volume, and the trend is projected to continue throughout the forecast period. In contrast, demand for industrial robots for end use in the food & beverages sector will remain sluggish in the global market.
Painting & dispensing will continue to be the fastest expanding application of industrial robots, followed by material handling. However, number of robots sold for application in material handling and welding & soldering applications will remain relatively higher in the market.
On the basis of technology, although semi-automatic industrial robots will remain dominant in the market in terms of volume, sales of automatic industrial robots will exhibit a relatively higher CAGR through 2026.
Key market players identified by the report include Denso Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Brenton, LLC, Krones AG, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, YASKAWA Electric Corporation, KUKA AG, Fanuc Corporation, and ABB Limited.
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