An industrial robot is defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as an “automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator, programmable in three or more axes, which can be either fixed in place or mobile”.
Industrial robotics has become increasingly important in many industries due to its ability to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce costs. As mentioned, the electronics industry is the largest market for industrial robotics, accounting for more than one-third of the total market. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for electronic products, particularly related to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). As the demand for electronic products increases, the need for higher quality and increasing degrees of automation also rises, leading to further adoption of robotics in the electronics industry.
The following areas of industrial robot applications are:-
Electronical/electronics: Household appliances, electrical machinery, electronic components, semiconductors, LCD, LED, computers and peripheral equipment, info-communication equipment, as well as medical, precision, and optical instruments
Automotive: Motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines and bodies, parts, and accessories for motor vehicles
Metal and machinery: Basic metals, metal products, and industrial machinery.
Plastic and chemical products: Chemical products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, as well as rubber and plastic products.
Food and beverages: Food products and beverages, as well as tobacco products.
The automotive industry is the second-largest market for industrial robotics, accounting for more than one-fourth of the total market. However, this industry is predicted to lose market share until 2021. This can be attributed to the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, which require fewer components than traditional combustion engine vehicles, leading to lower demand for industrial robotics.
The metal and machinery industry is the third-largest application area, representing 11 percent of the total market. This industry has remained at a constant level, indicating a mature market. Other industries that are seeing growth in industrial robotics adoption include the plastic and chemical products industry, which despite showing the lowest CAGR in industrial robotics, still grows at a compound annual growth rate of five percent.
The smallest market for industrial robotics is the food and beverages industry. This is mainly due to the difficulty of automating tasks such as food handling, which require flexibility and dexterity. However, with advancements in robotic technology, the adoption of industrial robotics in the food and beverage industry is expected to increase in the future.
In summary, the main driver of the industrial robotics market growth is the electronics industry, followed by the automotive industry. As the demand for electronic products and higher quality increases, the adoption of industrial robotics in the electronics industry is expected to continue to grow. Although the automotive industry is predicted to lose market share until 2021, other industries such as the metal and machinery industry and the plastic and chemical products industry are seeing growth in industrial robotics adoption.