In 2014, more than 200,000 industrial robots will be installed worldwide, which represents a 15% jump from 2013. The trend won’t end there, however, as the International Federation of Robotics predicted in its "World Robotics 2014 - Industrial Robots" study that sales of industrial robots will continue to rise at about 12% per year from 2015 to 2017.
There are a number of industries and regions in particular that are going to be main drivers of this annual growth in sales. First, high volumes of industrial robots will continue to come from the automotive industry, a market segment that has seen a rise in investments since 2010. Advancements and technological developments in industrial manufacturing have led to the increased use of robot installations, particularly in the automotive industry. Per Vegard Nerseth, Group Senior Vice President, ABB Robotics commented on the move toward automation in both the automotive industry, as well as into other markets.
"We at ABB continue to be extremely bullish on the future growth prospects for the robotics industry. Automotive investment levels globally have remained at historical highs and the ever-increasing usage of robotic automation by non-Automotive companies is now driving the usage of industrial robot automation to a whole new level."
He added, "This, coupled with the huge push from the industry for collaborative robots, will open up yet more opportunities for robotic solutions in the immediate future and strengthen the position of our industry yet further. These are exciting times for our company and our industry and I am truly privileged to be able to contribute to the record year that I fully expect 2015 will be."
Dr. Stefan Markus Baginski, BMW, also notes in the IFR press release that a wide range of opportunities for using even more robots in automotive manufacturing exists. He also mentions the importance of the whole robot community taking responsibility for not just developing technology, but also changing the mindset in society for new directions in automation.
"To a lot of people the usage of robots still creates a sense of fear but at the same time they use their iPhones to automate daily activities. This occurs when technology is not explained properly and the benefits for all are not understood by the masses. With deeper understanding we would gain even more for the future development of robot technology."
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