Across the world, the pace of industrial automation is steadily accelerating. Robots aren’t on their way—they have fully arrived.
By 2021, the projected industrial robot demand in North America will be worth $9 billion. However, it is South Korea that is leading with the highest robot density globally, owing to its strong automotive and manufacturing industries. Supplying this demanding market is Japan. With manufacturers delivering 56% of the global supply, Japan stands as the world’s number one industrial robot manufacturer.
North America, Germany, and China were also target export destinations. China has significantly expanded its leading position with the strongest demand and a market share of 36% of the total supply. With sales of about 138,000 industrial robots, China’s sales volume was higher than the total sales volume of Europe and the Americas combined—112,400 units in 2017.
By industry, the automotive sector remains the largest adopter of robots worldwide, with a share of 33% of total supply. The manufacturing of passenger cars has become increasingly complex over the last decade and companies also have the challenge of meeting 2030 climate targets, requiring a larger proportion of new cars to be low and zero-emission vehicles. The electronics industry isn’t far behind, accounting for a share of 32% of the total supply. The expanding range of smart devices and vision technologies is extending the range of tasks that robots can perform in the manufacturing of electronic products, ultimately increasing demand to automate production.