The use of industrial robots continues to expand into almost every industry and with it the demand also grows. This is thanks to the many advantages that have been seen in the recent years from the use of these robots. There are expected impovements for robots, and this increases the potential for higher demand as well as installation of industrial robots globally. In the last five years for instance, the sale of robots for businesses have more than doubled, with the peak of the growth being at 30% in the year 2017.
Use of robotics in different sectors
For a long time, the automotive manufacturing companies have largely dominated the use of robotics, as the sector is constantly trying to rise to the challenge of the creation of more cars that have low to zero emissions, in order to get to the climate targets of 2030. However, the electrical and electronics sector is now catching up to try and meet the demand, with a growth rate of 33%.
In addition, the demand for lithium and cobalt for electric car batteries which continues to grow has seen the use of robots in the sectors of machinery and metal grow by 55% in order to meet this demand. And as robotics become more adaptable, smaller and even more affordable, more sectors as well as second tier suppliers are predicted to move into the use of robotics.
Countries leading in automation
So far, China has managed to lead the way in terms of purchase of industrial robots for sale, as it has managed to stay the world’s largest market for industrial robots since 2013. Japan follows the lead, and also happens to be the biggest manufacturer of robots in the world. It now accounts for 56% of the deliveries in the globe, with increased domestic as well as export sales that target the Americas, Europe, China and South Korea.
On the other hand, South Korea has managed to have the world’s highest density of robots, with more than seven robots per one hundred employees. This makes it eight times higher than the total average in the globe. When it comes to regions, Europe happens to be the one with the highest density, with Germany leading the use of robots.
Reasons for growth of robot sales
On one hand, the commercial manufacturing industry has been growing, and this has partly contributed to the increasing demand for industrial robots. In addition, as the creation of more developed and complex robots continues, the range of tasks that a robot can undertake has also continued to grow; in particular, the assembly of electric equipment and components.
Most manufacturing industries have assembly lines that require very precise and rapid placement of tiny objects which are often very fragile. This kind of work can only be done by robots as they are capable of performing many different tasks in sequence. For instance, mounting different kinds of components on a base plate.
Furthermore, developments in sensors as well as technologies that limit power-force have provided a condusive environment that makes it easier for robots to share workspaces with employees. This is because they ensure that robots can know to slow down whenever they come in close proximity with humans. Robots are also much easier to programme now, which means that they can be re-tasked faster, which is a process that can be done even by employees who have very little training.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has estimated that by the year of 2021, an additional 2m industrial robots will be in use world wide. This is because the creation of robots continues to evolve with the incorporation of a lot of cutting edge technology such as skill learning, vision recognition, failure prediction by the use of AI, easy programming as well as new concepts of man-machine collaboration.
The increase in idustrial automation will fuel the growth of the robot industry, and this will enable manufacturing sectors to improve in terms of quality, efficiency, as well as safety.