Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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More than 160,000 industrial robots sold in 2012: Survey


February 28, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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A new study has found that despite weak global development, the demand for robots remained strong in 2012.

Based on the results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics, the IFR estimates that in 2012, more than 160,000 industrial robots were sold, about the same number like in 2011.

The study found, however, there were various outcomes in different regions. Robot sales to the Americas continued to increase due to automation processes in the North American industry.

At the same time, robot sales to the biggest markets, Japan and Korea, stagnated or decreased while those to the emerging markets continued to rise. Robot supplies to Europe were lower than in 2011 due to the public debt crisis within the euro-zone.

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Between 2002 and 2012 the annual increase of global robot sales was about 9 per cent on average. Following the global financial and economic crisis in 2009, the robot demand surged in 2010 and 2011.

The main drivers of the growth toward automation were and will be energy-efficiency and lightweight construction materials, the study found. The global robot suppliers are looking with confidence into the future:

“Investments in robots always generate sound practical returns both at economic and technical levels,” Arturo Baroncelli, IFR vice president, COMAU, Italy, said in a statement. “Robotized automation is a key strategic factor to enhance competitiveness both for the big, medium and small enterprises.”