Robots are becoming commonplace in businesses around the world. But the big growth in workplace robotics is taking place in Asia. According to the most recent data from International Federation of Robotics (published late in 2017), this trend is only accelerating. Here’s what you need to know.
Asia is by far the world’s strongest growth market. This region saw a total of 190,492 units sold in 2016 – a rise of 19%. This was the highest sales level ever recorded for the fourth year in a row. Industrial robot sales in the second largest market, Europe, increased by 12% to 56,000 units (a new peak, for the third year in a row). About 41,300 industrial robots were shipped to the
Americas, 8% more than in 2015, establishing a new peak for the fifth year in a row.
74% of the global robot sales in five countries, with the Top 3 being in Asia.There are five major markets representing 74% of the total sales volume in 2016: China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the United States, and Germany. Since 2013 China has been the biggest robot market in the world with a continued dynamic growth. China has significantly expanded its leading position as the biggest market with a share of 30% of the total supply in 2016 (27% in 2015). With sales of about 87,000 industrial robots in 2016 – an increase of 27% compared to 2015 – China came close to the total sales volume of Europe and the Americas together (97,300 units). Chinese robot suppliers continued to expand their market share from 25% in 2013 to 31% in 2016. Between 2011 and 2016, total supply of industrial robots increased by about 31% per year on average.
About 41,400 units (8% more than in 2015) were sold to the Republic of Korea, the second biggest market. Due to major investments of the electrical/electronics industry in robots, annual sales increased considerably in 2016. Between 2011 and 2016, robot sales increased by 10% on average per year (CAGR).
In 2016, robot sales in Japan increased by 10% to about 38,600 units, reaching the highest level since 2006 (37,400 units). Robot sales in Japan followed a decreasing trend between 2005 (reaching the peak at 44,000 units) and 2009 (sales dropping to only 12,767 units). Between 2011 and 2016, robot sales increased by 7% on average per year (CAGR).
Increase in robot installations in the United States continued in 2016, by 14%, to the peak of 31,400 units. Driver of this continued growth since 2010 was the ongoing trend to automate production in order to strengthen American industries on the global market and to keep manufacturing at home, and in some cases, to bring back manufacturing
that had previously been sent overseas.
Germany is the fifth largest robot market in the world. In 2016, the number of robots sold increased slightly to 20,039 units compared to 2015 (19,945 units). Between 2011 and 2016, annual sales of industrial robots more or less stagnated at around 20,000 units.