Industrial robotics is a robot that is used in manufacturing. Often, they are colloquially called robotic arms. Industrial robots are programmed and automated to do very specific tasks. Usually, they are capable of movement of three or more axes. The most common functions that the industrial robots perform are assembly and handling, cutting and welding, packaging and palletizing, painting, and dispensing. Rising automation trends and industry 4.0 standards are resulting in the requirement of such robotic arms.
The global industrial robotics market was estimated at USD 68 billion in 2020 and it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 14% – 15% from 2020 to 2027. APAC is expected to demonstrate the highest growth rate geographically. China is also the largest market for industrial robotics globally, followed by two other Asian countries; South Korea and Japan. Other major markets for industrial robotics are the US and Germany.
From an end-user industry perspective, the automotive sector is one of the most promising sectors for industrial robotics. Currently, several OEMs are using robotic arms in painting, welding, assembly, material removal, part transfer, and machine tending. In fact, in a fully automated setup, the majority of the functions are performed by an industrial robot. Apart from the automotive sector, industrial robotics are widely used in sectors like semiconductor and IT product manufacturing where precision is of key importance.
Implementing robotic arms is a huge capital investment. However, the process of automation streamlines the workflow for the future. With the implementation of robotic human errors can be omitted, which otherwise could lead to additional spillage or material wastage. Also, one of the primary reasons for implementing industrial robotics is to tide over the shortage of unskilled labor. While industrial robotics, from an investment perspective, is of CAPEX nature and essentially a one-time cost, the wage for unskilled labor is operational cost incurring month-over-month and sometimes incremental in nature. Therefore, post the implementation of industrial robotics, it is easier to predict their cost of operations and hence strategize pricing to boost their margins.
The biggest disadvantage with the implementation of industrial robotics is the cost involved in implementing it. Robotic arms, in itself, are capital intensive. In addition to this, implementing robotic arms requires several process upgrades and automation to be in place. Furthermore, the true cost-effectiveness of industrial robots can be realized if the manufacturing process is standardized. In addition to all these, continuous connectivity is another pertinent issue. In case of a technical glitch, the whole setup may stop operating and in such a case, the cost incurred to repair will be significant in addition to the opportunity cost lose during downtime. Such process modification, diagnostics, and backups in case of downtime are a capital-intensive affair to set up. In absence of sufficient investment or improper implementation of industrial robotics, a significant financial setback may be anticipated.
While industrial robotics has been set up to tackle the persisting issue of shortage of unskilled labor, this is not a problem in several developing nations where unskilled labor is available in plenty. In such a region, with the labor force being easily available, companies may not be willing to implement industrial robotics.
Industrial robotics is highly dependent on LAN or a WAN setup. With a digital system, there is always a scope for data infringement or hacking. Also, there are ethical concerns related to the ownership of information, especially with the wise in SaaS for robots. Data privacy and security may act as deterrents for companies to establish a setup that works on industrial robotics.
The key suppliers of industrial robotics are ABB Ltd, Yaskawa Electric Corporation, Denso Corporation, Fanuc Corporation, KUKA AG, EPSON Robots, OTC Daihen, Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Yamaha, Hyundai Robotics, Star Seiki, Inovance Group, Nachi, Comua, Omron, etc. The market for industrial robotics is fragmented. While the number of localized players is low, the market is absent of a single or few dominant players who may be able to control the market dynamics and pricing schemes. Also, the requirement for an industrial robotic arm would require some degree of customization, hence chances of having a completely off-the-shelf are low. Grand View Research will help our client identify the best-suited suppliers by mapping their core capabilities and operational efficiency.
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