Industrial robot market worth over $11 billion in 2021

After a 2-year period of contraction, industrial robot shipments saw a year-on-year (YoY) increase of over 30% in 2021, according to new research published by Interact Analysis.

By Interact Analysis June 29, 2022
The industrial robot market was worth over $11.8 billion in 2021 with over three quarters of this value represented by articulated robots. Courtesy: Interact Analysis

Pre-pandemic, the industrial robot sector was considered relatively mature, enjoying moderate, stable growth, but COVID-19 and the extended labor shortages that followed have caused an
increased enthusiasm for manufacturing automation which has turbo-charged the robot industry.
Additionally, many manufacturing companies are investing in automation as a form of ‘future-
proofing’ to prepare them for future emergencies.

Courtesy: Interact Analysis

The industrial robot market was worth over $11.8 billion in 2021 with over three quarters of this
value represented by articulated robots. By 2026, the market will be worth almost $20 billion, with
articulated robots’ ratio slightly decreased but still accounting for over 70% of this. However, it will
be collaborative robots (cobots) that will see the most success in new markets and applications.

However, short-term worries remain. These worries include new waves of COVID-19 causing lockdowns
in China, inflation and impending recession. And the most important, worsening supply chain issues
have kept production and demand growth out of sync.

Interact Analysis previously forecasted a steady decline in the average selling price of industrial
robots. But, as a result of global supply chain issues, there were dramatic pricing increases in the
industrial robot market in 2021. It is likely that price increases will continue through 2022 due to
ongoing economic uncertainty.

Maya Xiao, Senior Analyst at Interact Analysis, said, “This new piece of industrial robot research
has been the largest revision to our forecasts that we’ve had to undertake since we started to track
the robotics industry in 2018. The long-term outlook for industrial robots is bright – significantly
brighter than it was pre-pandemic. I think it’s fair to say that COVID-19 has caused the most
conservative of factory managers to consider the benefits of advanced industrial automation.

However, the short-term issues are grave. In particular, there are problems in Europe where the Ukraine conflict is a real threat to the industrial automation sector because the reduction in business confidence is delaying the sorts of large investment decisions that are needed to implement automation projects.

Interact Analysis is a CFE Media and Technology content partner. Edited by Morgan Green, associate editor, CFE Media and Technology, mgreen@cfemedia.com.


Interact Analysis