Strong growth projected for industrial robot industry

The IFR's World Robotics Industrial Robots review predicts that robot sales will double to around 400,000 by 2018 with the Asian market comprising more than half of all global sales.

By Frank Tobe, The Robot Report December 18, 2015

The IFR’s World Robotics Industrial Robots review of 2014 (with projections through 2018), forecasts a 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), which will double the annual number of robot units sold to around 400,000 by 2018. 70% of those sales will be to users in China, Japan, the U.S., South Korea and Germany. 

Asia is projected to continue leading the market in robot sales. The IFR is forecasting Asian robot sales units to increase from about 140,000 in 2014 to 275,000 by 2018, which makes it the largest and fastest growing marketplace in the world.

Specifically, sales for the global robotics industry in 2014 were $10.7 billion, a 13% increase over 2013. There are now about 1.5 million robots at work globally, an increase of 11% over 2013. Adding supporting services such as integration, accessories, peripherals, software and systems engineering at a 3x multiplier, worldwide 2014 sales are estimated to be $32 billion.

The report also suggests that rapid automation in China and global competition of industrial production are the main drivers for the sustained growth forecasts. Further reasons for the increased demand for robots include the automotive industry, increased volume in electronics manufacturing, increased energy efficiency, and new materials replacing older robots. In addition, the reduction in the length of time manufacturing lines stay up as product varieties increase and lifecycles decrease is causing increased retooling and upgrading for automation equipment.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report. After selling his business and retiring from 25+ years as computer direct marketing and materials and consulting to the Democratic National Committee and major presidential, senatorial, congressional, mayoral campaigns and initiatives all across the U.S., Canada and internationally, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics. This article originally appeared on The Robot Report. The Robot Report is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

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