Based on the results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics, the IFR estimates that in 2013 about 168,000 industrial robots were sold, 5% more than in 2012.
Robot sales to the Americas continued to increase due to necessary automation processes in the North American industry. Robot sales to Asia rose considerably due to strong demand from China, South Korea and other growing Asian markets. In the fourth quarter 2013, the start of recovery in the euro-zone pushed robot demand substantially but due to the rather weak development in the first three quarters, robot sales in Europe stagnated in 2013.
“The global demand for industrial robots reached an all-time-high of about 168,000 units in 2013,” said Arturo Baroncelli, IFR President, on Wednesday in Frankfurt. “The success story of the robotics industry is continuing.”
“As clearly shown by the IFR quarterly statistics, the automotive industry has made major investments in Asian countries including China. In comparison to 2012, our shipments have been on the rise in most markets. This is mainly led by the automotive industry and is also due to strong demand from the other industries, such as food and beverage, building and construction related sectors. We expect that demand from the mentioned industries will remain stable in the next few years. Moreover, there will be a great expansion in the emerging markets and new fields such as the bio-medical sector. The semi-conductor industry remained steady throughout 2013. This trend is expected to continue in 2014,” said Yoshikatsu Minami, Corporate Vice President and General Manager Robotics Division, Yaskawa Electric, Japan.
“ABB Robotics recorded its best year ever in 2013. Whilst gains were posted across all industries, the sustained growth witnessed in the Automotive and Food & Beverage segments coupled with the relentless growth trajectory of the Consumer Electronics industry merit particular mention. Regionally, resilience in Europe and continued strength across the board in Asia helped drive our business to levels previously unseen. With global demand for flexible automation solutions at an all-time high, I look forward to yet another excellent year for ABB Robotics and the industry in 2014.” Per Vegard Nerseth, Group Senior Vice President Head of Business Unit Robotics Discrete Automation & Motions Division, ABB, Switzerland.