GVR Report cover Pharmaceutical Robots Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Pharmaceutical Robots Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Traditional Robots, Collaborative Robots), By Application, By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Feb, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-515-1
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 150

Report Overview

The global pharmaceutical robots market size was valued at USD 142.9 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% from 2021 to 2028. The growing need for automation in manufacturing units, coupled with the high costs of new drug discovery, is significantly increasing the demand for robotics in clinical trials, drug discovery, and laboratories for automating the procedures. In addition, key companies are introducing technologically advanced robotic machines, which has further led to the tremendous growth of the market. The COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand, is further driving the adoption of pharmaceutical robots to overcome labor shortage, decrease manufacturing costs, and increase in-house manufacturing through automation rather than outsourcing to mitigate global supply chain risks post COVID-19.

Global pharmaceutical robots market size, by product, 2014 - 2028 (USD Million)

Despite high initial investment for installation, the long-term benefits of robots have made them a cost-effective instrument in manufacturing processes, resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI). These machines are three to four times faster than humans and can operate for 24 hours. With the growing competition in the pharmaceutical industry, drug manufacturers are revolutionizing manufacturing processes with robotic technology. This technology has led to the increased manufacturing efficiency and a growing ability to offer quality products at lower costs. These aforementioned factors are expected to raise the demand for pharmaceutical robots for manufacturing processes in the coming years.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the awareness regarding the benefits of automation in the pharma sector for maintaining and increasing production without compromising quality or safety. This, in turn, is aiding the market growth. According to the data published by CNBC, in June 2020, the cumulative unemployment rate in the U.S. decreased from 14.7% in April 2020 to 13.3% in May 2020, whereas 30% of manufacturers stated that they are seeking to hire new employees during the COVID-19 pandemic as the overall employment rate in the manufacturing sector is facing a sharp contraction, declining at a rate of 19.1% from January 2020 to April 2020. This is anticipated to drive the demand for these products to overcome labor shortages and expand automation in the country.

With automation becoming central to pharmaceutical manufacturing, maintaining higher levels of accuracy, and minimizing workload, robotics offers the next wave of transformation. Gilead Sciences, a Fortune 500 company, exhibited the high growth potential of the global pharmaceutical industry through its 5-year revenue growth rate of 28.8%. This is expected to increase the need for pharmaceutical robotics to automate tasks and minimize work pressure generated by such growing companies.

COVID19 pharmaceutical robots market impact: 3.2% decrease in revenue

Pandemic Impact

Post COVID Outlook

The pharmaceutical robots market declined by 3.2% from 2019 to 2020, as per earlier projections the market was expected to be over USD 150 million in 2020.

In 2021, the market will witness an increase of 11.8% from 2020, owing to the increasing demand for pharmaceutical products.

COVID-19 resulted in delaying or deferring purchasing decisions and installations of pharmaceutical robots during the first half of 2020.

Although the demand for many pharmaceutical products increased due to the ongoing pandemic, there is no significant increase in pharmaceutical manufacturing factories. This in turn will increase robot adoption.

The emergence of COVID-19 has resulted in increased demand for testing and production of pharmaceuticals and increased awareness of robots.

SCARA and collaborative robots are estimated to gain traction for research & development and performing high-accuracy high-volume tasks.


Furthermore, mergers & acquisitions and collaborative agreements are some of the crucial initiatives being undertaken by key players, which is expected to propel the growth of the overall market. For instance, in June 2018, Marchesini Group completed the acquisition of two companies-Schmucker and Creinox. Schmucker, based out of Gorizia, manufactures stickpack packaging machinery for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. In November 2017, ABB and Kawasaki Heavy Industries entered into a joint agreement to share knowledge and expertise and promote the beneficial features of collaborative robots with dual-arm designs.

Product Insights

In 2020, traditional robots accounted for the largest share of 64.1%. The segment is further divided into articulated, SCARA, delta/parallel, cartesian, and dual-arm robots. Benefits associated with the adoption of these products in various industrial automation applications, including pick and place material handling, loading and unloading, packaging, palletizing and depalletizing, storing and retrieving, product placement, stacking, cutting, scribing, sorting, process-to-process transferring, and precision spot welding, are positively contributing to the segment growth.

The collaborative robots segment is anticipated to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. These machines are cheaper and easier to handle and maintain in comparison to the traditional solutions. They are also lightweight and require minimum skills to handle, which, in turn, is revolutionizing manufacturing units. They work along with humans, unlike traditional robots that are used to substitute them. Many pharmaceutical companies have been replacing traditional robots with collaborative robots to increase flexibility and efficiency. For instance, UR3 ROBOT, manufactured by Universal Robots A S., assists in picking and placing, injection molding, and lab analysis.

Application Insights

In 2020, picking and packaging accounted for the largest share of 53.9% and is anticipated to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. Robots facilitate high precision and efficiency as well as help manage material handling challenges. Pick and place allow conservation of floor space due to the need for limited work envelope, thereby leading to optimum utilization of workspace. For instance, Epson RS4, manufactured by Seiko Epson Corporation, is used for picking and packaging in the pharmaceutical industry. Cobots are also widely used for picking and packaging in the pharmaceutical industry owing to the growing need for these applications, coupled with the lack of skilled labor in the market.

A rise in drug discovery and diagnostic testing has led to the high growth of laboratory applications in the pharmaceutical robots market. In addition, laboratory automation through robotic machines minimizes the potential for human contamination. For instance, MYS850L, developed by YASKAWA Europe GmbH, facilitates laboratory automation. Other laboratory applications include vial handling. Robots have the capability to handle 10 vials at a time. Thus, pharmaceutical robots used in laboratories help improve the efficiency and quality of the products, with high throughput analysis. As a result, this segment is expected to witness considerable growth in the near future.

End-use Insights

The pharmaceutical companies accounted for the largest share of 66.9% in 2020. The segment is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. Pharmaceutical companies allow robot-assisted activities, which include picking and packaging, inspection of drugs, and in-house laboratory applications. In addition, the increasing application of robotics in pharmaceutical manufacturing is aiding repeatability and reproducibility, while reducing human errors. The rise in the demand for new drugs has resulted in increased productivity by facilitating the adoption of automated equipment by pharmaceutical companies.

Global pharmaceutical robots market share, by end-use, 2020 (%)

The adoption of pharmaceutical robots is further increasing among research laboratories owing to the increasing usage of robots in these facilities. Laboratory automation has revolutionized the R&D sector and facilitated rapid test analysis. In addition, benefits offered by robots in laboratory applications, such as higher consistency, better record-keeping, product integrity, and traceability, a rise in demand for efficient workflow management in research laboratories, and the rise in the number of initiatives being undertaken by private and public players to promote automation are among the key factors boosting the adoption of pharmaceutical robots solutions, thereby aiding the market growth.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific accounted for the largest share of 41.9% in 2020 and is anticipated to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. This is attributed to the presence of a large number of local pharmaceutical companies in countries, such as Japan. In addition, in 2019, China was the largest market for industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). According to an article published by Robotics & Automation in October 2020, China accounted for the largest share (140,500 units) of industrial robot installations around the world. This was mainly the result of a considerable increase in sales in China. Thus, leading pharmaceutical companies with vast manufacturing units in these countries are expected to propel the growth of this regional market.

The growth of the North American market can be attributed to a large number of robot installations in the region. According to the IFR, 33,000 industrial robots were sold in the U.S. in 2017. Hence, North America has a significantly high penetration of pharmaceutical robots, and this number is expected to grow in the near future due to a rise in the number of pharmaceutical companies in the country. The IFR also stated that North America is in the process of strengthening its pharmaceutical manufacturing units to compete with the global market through the automation of its production facilities.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Increasing investments in R&D, geographic expansions, collaborations with other industry players, and product differentiation are among the key strategies adopted by the companies for gaining a competitive edge in the market. For instance, in July 2018, FANUC America Corporation announced the expansion of its headquarters with the construction of a new facility in Auburn Hills, MI. The new facility was used for product development, manufacturing, engineering, and warehousing. Some prominent players in the global pharmaceutical robots market include:

  • ABB Ltd.

  • Universal Robots A/S

  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.

  • Yaskawa Electric Corporation

  • FANUC America Corporation

  • Marchesini Group S.p.A

  • Seiko Epson Corporation

  • Denso Wave, Inc.

Pharmaceutical Robots Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 159.8 million

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 297.4 million

Growth Rate

CAGR of 9.3% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2014 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, end-use, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; China; Japan; India; Brazil; Mexico; South Africa

Key companies profiled

ABB Ltd.; Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.; Universal Robots A/S; FANUC America Corporation; Yaskawa Electric Corporation; Marchesini Group S.p.A; Seiko Epson Corporation; Denso Wave, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research, Inc. has segmented the global pharmaceutical robots market report on the basis of product, application, end-use, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2028)

    • Traditional Robots

      • Articulated Robots

      • SCARA Robots

      • Delta/Parallel Robots

      • Cartesian Robots

      • Dual-arm Robots

    • Collaborative Pharmaceutical Robots

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2028)

    • Picking and Packaging 

    • Inspection of Pharmaceutical Drugs 

    • Laboratory Applications

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2028)

    • Pharmaceutical Companies

    • Research Laboratories

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • Japan

      • China

      • India

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

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