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Industrial Robots - Statistics & Facts

Over the past decade, the global sales volume of industrial robots tripled, reaching about 400,000 units in 2018. The tremendous growth in worldwide shipments of industrial robots is largely driven by the automotive sector, which accounted for almost a third of new installations in 2018. Consequently, the prevalence of industrial robots is particularly high in countries with a strong automotive sector. In South Korea, there are nearly 800 robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees. In the automotive sector, this figure exceeds 2,000 installations per 10,000 employees.

Thanks to their falling costs, the demand for industrial robots is expected to grow consistently in the coming years, in tandem with the Industrial Internet of Things market. The ongoing transformation of traditional manufacturing into Industry 4.0 requires constant innovation and the increasing adoption of cyber-physical systems and automation. The most deployed type 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, exoskeletons aid workers in carrying heavy loads.

Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, and Germany are counted among the five leading industrial robot markets worldwide. Due to rising wages in China and other emerging markets, the use of a robot workforce is expected to encourage companies based in industrialized countries to move production back to domestic shores. The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) 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. The number of merger and acquisition deals in the field of smart manufacturing peaked in 2016. KUKA was acquired by Midea in 2016. The company is among the key players in the industrial robot market.

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Industrial robots

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