Americas outpaced by Asia, Europe in robot installations: Key findings from IFR’s World Robotics 2023 report
September 27, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has shared that its latest World Robotics report recorded 553,052 industrial robot installations in factories worldwide. This is a growth rate of five percent in 2022, year-on-year. By region, 73 percent of all newly deployed robots were installed in Asia, 15 percent in Europe and 10 percent in the Americas.
“The world record of 500,000 units was exceeded for the second year in succession,” says IFR president Marina Bill. “In 2023 the industrial robot market is expected to grow by seven percent to more than 590,000 units worldwide.”
In the Americas, the report shows that installations were up eight percent to 56,053 units in 2022, surpassing the 2018 peak level (55,212 units). The United States, the largest regional market, accounted for 71 percent of the installations in the Americas in 2022. Robot installations were up by 10 percent to 39,576 units. This was just shy of the peak level of 40,373 units achieved in 2018. The main growth driver was the automotive industry that displayed surging installations by more than 47 percent (14,472 units). The share of the automotive industry has now grown back to 37 percent, followed by the metal and machinery industry (3,900 units) and the electrical/electronics industry (3,732 units).
The two other major markets are Mexico – where installations grew by 13 percent (6,000 units) – and Canada, where demand dropped by 24 percent (3,223 units). This was the result of lower demand from the automotive industry – the strongest adopter.
According to the IFR report, annual installation counts in Brazil grew rather slowly with cyclical ups and downs, even though it is an important production site for motor vehicles and automotive parts. In 2022, 1,858 robots were installed. This was four percent more than in the previous year.
Robot installations worldwide
The IFR report data shows that China is the world’s largest robotics market. In 2022, annual installations of 290,258 units replaced the previous record of 2021 by growth of five percent. Robot installations in Japan were up by nine percent to 50,413 units, exceeding the pre-pandemic level of 49,908 units in 2019. Japan is the world´s predominant robot manufacturing country with a market share of 46 percent of the global robot production, according to IFR. The market in the Republic of Korea rose by one percent – installations reached 31,716 units in 2022. The Republic of Korea remains the fourth largest robot market in the world, following the United States, Japan, and China.
IFR noted that European Union remains the world´s second-largest market (70,781 units; up five percent) in 2022. Germany is one of the top five adopters worldwide with a market share of 36 percent within the EU. Italy follows with a market share of 16 percent within the EU – installations grew by eight percent to 11,475 units. The third largest EU market, France, recorded a regional market share of 10 percent and gained 13 percent, installing 7,380 units in 2022. In the United Kingdom, industrial robot installations were up by three percent to 2,534 units in 2022.
IFR states that 2023 will be characterized by a slowdown of global economic growth. Robot installations in 2023 are not expected to follow this pattern. There is no indication that the overall long-term growth trend will come to an end soon: rather the contrary will be the case. The mark of 600,000 units installed per year worldwide is expected to be reached in 2024.
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