Over the past decade, the global sales volume of industrial robots tripled, peaking at around 422,000 units in 2018, before decreasing to around 384,000 units in 2020. The tremendous growth in worldwide shipments of industrial robots is largely driven by the automotive and electronics sectors, which accounted for some 23 and 31 percent of new installations in 2020, respectively. Consequently, the prevalence of industrial robots is particularly high in countries with strong automotive and electronics sectors, namely Japan, China, South Korea, Germany, and the United States. In South Korea, there are over 930 robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees—seven times more than the world average.
Rising demand for industrial robots
The ongoing transformation of traditional manufacturing into Industry 4.0 requires constant innovation as well as increasing adoption of cyber-physical systems and automation. The demand for industrial robots is thus expected to grow consistently in the coming years, in tandem with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market. The main drivers of this growing demand are the falling costs of industrial robots and rising wages in China as well as newly emerging markets, which will encourage companies based in industrialized countries to move production back to domestic shores. The IIoT revolution is expected to drive consolidation in the automation industry and, concurrently, a growing number of companies in traditional sectors are at a crossroads and are forced to make strategic decisions about automating their facilities and investing in the installation of various industrial robots.
Different types of robots
The most deployed types of robots in the manufacturing sector include gantry robots, which move along a single axis, and SCARA robots, which are capable of moving along three axes. Among the newest types of robots, both exoskeletons and collaborative robots are designed to work in close proximity to humans. While exoskeletons are attached to human bodies to give wearers increased strength, allowing them to carry heavy loads, collaborative robots share a workspace with human workers and help them with tasks that are better suited for robots, such as assembly or quality inspection.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 37 most important statistics relating to "Industrial robots worldwide".