Industrial Robotics Market Size, Share, and Industry Trends 2031

Written by Shweta Dixit  »  Updated on: July 10th, 2024

Industrial Robotics Market Size, Share, and Industry Trends 2031

The global industrial robotics market is poised for significant growth over the forecast period. With a market size of USD 15.8 billion in 2021, it is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028. Industrial robots are increasingly popular in sectors such as food and beverage, electronics, metals and machinery, and semiconductors, which drive market growth. The major factors contributing to this expansion are the increased utilization of industrial robots, reduced operational costs, and improved product quality. This technology is used in various applications, including painting, assembly, welding, palletizing, packaging and labeling, and product inspection. The increasing focus on enhancing the productivity of high-volume production lines, especially in automotive and electronics manufacturing, is a key trend accelerating market growth.

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Labor Shortages Drive Investment in Industrial Robots

Wage costs in the UK rise by more than 12% annually, leading to significant labor shortages. To address these challenges, market players are heavily investing in industrial robots. For instance, in January 2022, Chancellor Rishi Sunak invested in robotics to help the UK economy and its people cope with the inflationary crisis caused by labor shortages. Increased investment in supply chains by key market players is a significant factor driving market growth. In January 2022, DHL Supply Chain invested USD 15 million in robotic solutions for its warehouse supply chain network. Robots simplify supply chain networks by reducing long-term costs, increasing productivity, reducing errors, and streamlining picking operations. According to market trends, the supply chain market is estimated to grow by over 100% by 2026. As supply chain networks expand, the demand for cost reduction and efficiency gains creates new opportunities in the market.

Key Market Players Innovate with New Robot Launches

Major market players focus on launching new robots to capitalize on existing opportunities. For instance, ABB Group, a pioneering technology leader based in Switzerland, announced the launch of its new ceiling-mounted industrial SCARA robot IRB 910INV in 2018. These robots can work simultaneously with other machines and robots, providing greater flexibility and increased productivity. Such innovations are expected to drive market growth in the coming years.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Industrial Robotics Market

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to many industries worldwide. The ongoing pandemic has impacted many sectors due to lockdowns imposed by various countries to prevent the spread of the virus. The increasing demand for medical devices has boosted the growth of industrial robots in the device manufacturing industry. For example, in April 2020, US-based robotics and technology company Vecna Robotics, along with its sister companies VecnaCares and Vecna Healthcare, launched Ventiv, an automated manual resuscitator, to meet the increased demand for ventilators and respirators.

Drivers of the Industrial Robotics Market

Access to New Industries and Adoption by SMEs

Robotics has traditionally been associated with heavy industries such as automobiles and energy. However, the advent of precision robotics and the miniaturization of robots have created new markets, including electronics and instrumentation. Nanorobotics has enabled industrial robotics to enter previously untapped industries such as healthcare. Additionally, industries such as testing and packaging show consistent promise and have become major markets for industrial robots. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly adopting industrial robots in industries such as automotive parts. These factors are expected to drive the growth of the global industrial robot market during the forecast period.

Growing Demand for Collaborative Robots

Collaborative robots, or cobots, are designed to work alongside humans in a shared workspace. Cobots can automate tasks in various applications such as packaging, pick-and-place, screwing, assembly, laboratory testing, and quality inspection. They can perform repetitive tasks quickly, increasing worker safety and production efficiency. The demand for cobots is rising in industries such as retail, healthcare, and automotive manufacturing due to their numerous benefits and applications. Manufacturers like Universal Robots, KUKA AG, and Franka Emika GmbH are actively involved in the industrial robot market, offering a wide range of collaborative robots for different industries.

Challenges Facing the Industrial Robotics Market

High Introduction Costs for SMEs

Implementing robotic automation projects can be challenging for companies without prior experience due to the significant investment required. The cost of purchasing, integrating, programming, and maintaining robots can be substantial. Custom integration may be necessary, further increasing overall costs. SMEs often lack the facilities and infrastructure needed for robotic implementation, making it difficult to achieve a return on investment (ROI), especially for small-batch production. Seasonal or unstable production schedules further complicate the situation. Additionally, frequent reprogramming is required due to rapidly changing consumer preferences. Excessive automation can also pose challenges. For example, the US auto industry initially adopted more automation than the Japanese, leading to cost overruns as product lines and consumer demand evolved. Industrial robotic systems can be costly, with prices ranging from USD 15,000 to USD 150,000, making automation a significant investment for small businesses.

Segment Overview of the Industrial Robotics Market

Articulated Robots to Hold Largest Market Share

Articulated robots are expected to hold the largest market share in value and volume among traditional industrial robots during the forecast period. These robots are widely used in the automotive industry for various tasks, including handling, assembly and disassembly, welding, dispensing (gluing and painting), machining (cutting and polishing), spot welding, and painting. The pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries are also seeing increased demand for articulated robots, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven the need for seamless automation in testing and production.

Robot Accessory Components to Witness Highest Growth

Component-related growth rates for the industrial robot market are particularly high for robot accessories such as end effectors and image processing systems. Technological innovation has significantly advanced end effectors, driven by the need for enhanced functionality in industrial robots, particularly for pick-and-place operations. Future end effectors will increasingly combine machine learning software and safety features within the end-of-arm tool (EOAT) itself, along with the ability to adapt to machine vision environments. Industry 4.0, which enables error-free communication and better data optimization and collection, continues to drive sustainability and development in the robotic EOAT industry.

Regional Landscape of the Industrial Robotics Market

Asia Pacific to Dominate Market

Rising labor costs in Asia Pacific are forcing manufacturers to automate their processes to maintain cost advantages. Countries such as China are expected to recover from production slowdowns by 2021, while others like Taiwan and Thailand are pushing for further automation. The growing population and increasing disposable income drive demand for consumer goods, increasing production capacity and complementing market growth. Automation in Asia Pacific countries is expected to continue due to low production costs, an economical labor force, lax emission and safety standards, and government initiatives for foreign direct investment (FDI). As a result, Asia Pacific maintains its dominant market position in the traditional robot market.

North America to See Substantial Growth

North America is expected to experience significant growth due to high industrial demand, particularly in the United States. Many suppliers plan to expand their operations in the region. The rapid rise of Industry 4.0 and smart factories also drives the need for customized small robotic systems in the region.

Competitive Landscape of the Global Industrial Robotics Market

In 2021, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced the installation of its Japanese automated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing system at Fujita Health University in Aichi Prefecture using Kawasaki robots. Additionally, in October 2020, ABB announced the acquisition of Codian Robotics (Netherlands), a leading supplier of delta robots used for high-precision pick-and-place applications. Codian Robotics offers hygienic designs ideal for industries such as food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. This acquisition is expected to expand ABB's range of Delta robots.

Prominent players in the industrial robotics market include ABB (Switzerland), FANUC (Japan), YASKAWA (Japan), KUKA (Germany), Mitsubishi Electric (Japan), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan), Denso Corporation (Japan), NACHI-FUJIKOSHI (Japan), Seiko Epson (Japan), DÜrr (Germany), Universal Robots (Denmark), Stäubli (Switzerland), Comau (Italy), B+M SURFACE SYSTEMS (Germany), ICR Services (US), IRS Robotics (Netherlands), Hyundai Robotics (South Korea), Siasun Robotics (China), RobotWorx (US), Techman Robot (Taiwan), Rethink Robotics (Germany), Franka Emika (Germany), F&P Robotics (Switzerland), and Bosch Rexroth (Germany).

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