24 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Cobots will capture 20% of industrial robot market by 2032

The cobot market in the Emea region will rebound in the second half of 2023, with US recovery taking slightly longer

Collaborative robots (cobots) will account for more than 20% of all industrial robot sales by 2032, according to a new study from Interact Analysis. The cobot market is expected to expand at around 20% a year until then, driven partly by new applications and the growing importance of the logistics market.

In the nearer term, however, European cobot sales have been affected by the Ukraine-Russia war and by the weak economic landscape, with shipments of cobots in the Emea region expected to fall from 19.5% to 15.9% of the global total in the period to 2027. This year and last have been a difficult period for the European and US cobot markets as a result of inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions.

Interact predicts that Emea cobot sales will achieve a CAGR of 22.4% in the period to 2027, compared to 25.8% for the Americas and 28.2% in the Asia-Pacific region. It expects Emea to start to recover in the second half of 2023 and into the first half of 2024. Recovery in the Americas will take slightly longer, with a manufacturing downturn forecast for the US in 2024.

Most collaborative robot vendors are “pure-play” businesses, selling only cobots. Denmark’s Universal Robots remains the market leader with a “lion’s share” of the business, followed by China’s Aubo, Taiwan’s TechMan and Jaka (also Chinese). Chinese vendors are increasing their share of the Asia-Pacific market, according to Interact. South Korean manufacturers have started to emerge since 2020, but their success has been largely tied to their home market because entering that market is more difficult for foreign suppliers.

“It’s promising to see that the application field for collaborative robots is widening,” says Interact research manager, Maya Xiao. “Maintaining this will be a key factor in future growth of the market. Deployment of cobots in the education, medical, logistics, catering and retail sectors is increasing due to the development of machine vision and machine-learning software.

“The logistics industry also offers enormous opportunity for the collaborative robot market due to the ability of robots to replace manual labour in areas such as picking, packing, loading/unloading and quality inspection,” she adds. “Watch this space – the market is set to enjoy steady growth over the next ten years.”

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