Demand From Developing Markets Should Fuel Growth In Industrial Robotics

New robotic technology requires less skill level, making robotics more attractive to a broader base.

The Industrial Robotics market, fueled by demand from small- and medium-sized businesses in developed markets, and even stronger demand from developing markets such as China, India, Korea and Taiwan, will see growth at a compound annual growth rate of 7.7 percent over the next five years, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

ARC’s “Industrial Robotics Worldwide Outlook” shows the hardware market at $3.59 billion in 2005, with projections for the market to be over $5.1 billion in 2010.
According to ARC analyst Stefan Surpitski, the principal author of ARC’s study, technological developments in the current generation of robotics has changed the way people apply robotics in manufacturing processes.

“Technology exists for robots to perform fixtureless sorting and to integrate those robotics within machine tools. All of which combines to create faster cycle times and more floor space," said Surpitski.

Advancements in application and simulation software is allowing the use of robotic systems in sectors that have limited resources or less skilled workers. Digital manufacturing is reducing the skill level needed to use robotics, permitting programming and factory planning to be available to a broader user base.

The study notes that end users are looking to speed up the flow of product throughout the factory, while using minimal floor space. Innovation in the robotics market can help manufacturers achieve greater workflow efficiency.

One of these technologies, Coordinated Cellular Robotics (CCR), features conveyorless cells that use robots which working cooperatively and simultaneously on a single work piece.

The trend for growth in robotics, the study concludes, will be more concentrated in countries where low labor rates may have prevailed over technology in the past.

The growth in developed countries, traditionally the largest robotics consumers, will slow as the market becomes more saturated. In these areas,  small and medium-sized manufacturers will be using robotic solutions to more efficiently customize products in smaller production lots.