Industrial robots are mechanical machines programmed to automatically perform production-related tasks in industrial environments. Industrial robots are increasingly used in a variety of industries and applications. They come in a wide range of models with the reach distance, payload capacity and the number of axes of travel (up to six) of their jointed arm being the most common distinguishing characteristics.
The growth of this market is driven by the increasing adoption of robots in the manufacturing sector, government support and policies for the adoption of industrial robots, high labor cost in North America & Europe, and the increasing number of SMEs globally. Furthermore, rising automation across the automotive and electronics sectors and increased focus on reducing human labor in industries are expected to create significant opportunities for players operating in the industrial robots market. However, the need for highly skilled operators and the safety issues of industrial robots in industries pose challenges to the growth of this market.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Industrial Robotics Market
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic drastically impacted several manufacturing and processing industries globally. The industries severely affected include oil & gas, construction machinery, rubber & plastic machinery, and power generation. These industries were severely impacted due to changes in consumer behavior, low production, and dependency on end-use markets and are expected to recover slowly. Some moderately impacted industries included mining, robotics, building technology, electronics, paper & pulp, and processing equipment. These industries are expected to make a speedy recovery due to the broad range of applications they cater to. The least impacted industries included agricultural machinery, food & beverage processing & packaging, and medical & scientific manufacturers.
The top players in the industrial robotics market are headquartered in Japan and witnessed a major decline in their 2019 revenue. For instance, in March 2020, FANUC (Japan) announced that its ROBOT division revenue witnessed a decline of 6.9% in 2019 compared to 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global supply chain and reduced the installation of industrial robots in various key industries, such as automotive, electrical, electronics, and metals and machinery.
The pandemic severely impacted the industrial sector due to the reduced consumption of high-cost products and the consumers’ inclination to spend on only the most essential goods & services. During the nationwide lockdowns, consumers restricted their spending on consumer goods, high-cost electronics, textiles, automobiles, and machinery, which impacted the major application sectors for the industrial automation market.
With countries resuming trade and economic activity and stability in consumer lifestyles, the spending on these products and services is expected to increase, boosting the demand for automation solutions in the coming years. The market is expected to recover in 2022 due to restrictions on the volume of human labor allowed at manufacturing facilities.
The global industrial robotics market is segmented based on component, payload, application, end-use industry, and geography. The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyzes the regional and country-level markets.
Based on component, the global industrial robotics market is segmented into robots, robot accessories, software, and controllers. In 2022, the robots segment is expected to account for the largest share of the industrial robotics market. The demand for robots has been increasing among consumers to cater to a wide application area as they can be programmed to perform repetitive and risky tasks with consistent precision, accuracy, and quality. The technology used in robots allows them to operate round the clock, even in harsh environments, increasing productivity and profitability and reducing the human labor required for performing activities that might cause physical injury, thereby increasing workplace safety and reducing labor costs.
Based on payload, the global industrial robotics market is segmented into upto 60 kg, 60–100 kg, 100–225 kg, and above 225 kg. The upto 60 kg segment is expected to account for the largest share of the global industrial robotics market. This category includes SCARA, articulated, and collaborative robots. The large share of the upto 60 kg segment is attributed to the increasing need for automation in the electrical and electronics industry for assembly and handling applications where SCARA robots are extensively used.
Generally, a SCARA robot can operate at a higher speed and with optional cleanroom specifications. By design, the robot suits applications with a smaller field of operation, where floor space is limited. In addition, the compact layout makes them relocatable in temporary or remote applications. SCARA robots can be particularly used in industrial applications which require a clean and hygienic environment, such as the food and beverage industry.
Based on application, the global industrial robotics market is segmented into material handling, assembling & disassembling, welding & soldering, dispensing, processing, machine tending, inspection, and other applications. The material handling segment is expected to account for the largest share of the market in 2022. Material handling robots are used to automate some of the most tedious, dull, and unsafe tasks in a production line. These robots enhance the efficiency of production lines and increase customer satisfaction by promptly providing quality products. These benefits are expected to drive the growth of this segment.
Based on end-use industry, the global industrial robotics market is segmented into automotive, electrical & electronics, metal & machinery, plastics & chemicals, food & beverage, healthcare & pharma, and other end-use industries. In 2022, the automotive segment is expected to account for the largest share of the global industrial robots market. The large share of this segment is attributed to the benefits offered by industrial robots in the automotive industry, such as cost-effectiveness, higher efficiency, safety, and speed & precision. Using robots allows car and automotive component makers to accelerate production, reduce costs, improve quality, and ensure workers' safety.
Based on geography, the global industrial robotics market is segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. In 2022, Asia-Pacific is expected to account for the largest share of the industrial robotics market. The large share of this regional market is driven by the increasing labor costs in Asia-Pacific, driving manufacturers to automate the manufacturing processes to maintain their cost advantage.
Some of the key players operating in the global industrial robotics market are ABB Ltd (Sweden), Fanuc Corporation (Japan), Yaskawa Electric Corporation (Japan), KUKA AG (Germany), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Japan), Denso Corporation (Japan), Seiko Epson Corporation (Japan), Dürr Group (Germany), Universal Robots A/S (Denmark), Stäubli International AG (Switzerland), Comau S.p.A. (Italy), Hyundai Robotics (South Korea), SIASUN Robot & Automation CO., Ltd (China), OMRON Corporation (Japan), Techman Robot Inc. (Taiwan), FRANKA EMIKA GmbH (Germany), and F&P Robotics AG (Switzerland).
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