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Global Robot Market By 2020 | Trends

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Source: IFR World Robotics 2017
In 2017, global industrial robot sales are estimated to increase by 18% to about 346,800 units. From 2018 to 2020, global industrial robot sales are estimated to increase by at least 15% on average per year. Between 2017 and 2020 it is estimated that more than 1.7 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world.

1.7 million new industrial robots by 2020

Double-digit average annual increase

1.7 million new industrial robots by 2020

The huge growth in industrial robot sales is mainly driven by the highly automated car manufacturing sector. Therefore, the robot density is particularly high in those countries with strong automotive industry. Although the automotive industry remains the major customer of industrial robots, the electrical/electronics industry has been catching up. And industry robots are continuously making their way into other areas such as the metal and machinery industry, the rubber and plastic industry, and the food and beverage industry.

Continued increase in major industries

Continued increase in major industries

The Changing Nature of Manufacturing

Shift from high volume/low mix to low volume/high mix

Shortages of skilled labour

Increasing focus on workplace safety

Rising wages in emerging markets

Continuous quality improvement

Decline in products’ life cycle and increase in the variety of products

Bright and challenging prospects

Continuous modernisation of production capacities is required in high competition

Continued strong demand from the automotive industry – using new materials, developing eco-friendly drive systems

Increasing demand from other industries such as electrical/electronics,
metal and machinery, rubber and plastics, food and beverage


How Industrial Robots Are Eliminating These Challenges?


  • Robots that are easy to install, easy to program and easy to operate will remove entry barriers faced by small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs)
  • Ready to use applications are getting more popular with the customers


  • Collaborative robots, IIoT and Machine Learning/AI will lead robotics in the coming years
  • Vision devices coupled with analytics platforms will pave the way for new industry business models
  • Robots will adapt new skills through learning processes.
  • Big Data


  • Collaborative robots increase manufacturing flexibility to’low volum high mix’
  • Collaborative robots increase productivity with increased human and robot interaction
  • Lightweight robots enables man work alongside robot closely and safely
Source: IFR World Robotics 2017
Further reading:
Presentation WR 2017 Industrial Robots market
Executive Summary World Robotics 2017 Industrial Robots

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