The use of robots expanding into a variety of industries
ABI Research is forecasting a US$3.6-billion jump in the industrial robotics market by 2015. Increasing use of robots across several sectors will drive the growth.
The market for industrial robotics will expand from US$5.2 billion in new robots shipped in 2010 to US$8.8 billion in 2015, according to the New York-based technology market research firm.
“The short-term impact of the recession hurt robot sales in 2009, but manufacturers of all types have started spending strongly on robotic automation in 2010,” said Larry Fisher, research director of NextGen, ABI Research’s emerging technologies research incubator. “Part of that surge is the result of delayed orders, but it’s clear that the recession has forced many manufacturers to reassess their priorities and identify ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency.”
The auto industry has traditionally been the largest single user of industrial robotics, but ABI Research predicts expansion even with that sector facing a downturn in production capacity over the next several years.
ABI Research said that the increasing use of robots in sectors such as food handling and processing, clean technology and energy, as well as pharmaceutical and general consumer goods production, will lead to increased demand for industrial robotics as manufacturers look to improve the speed, quality and reliability of production through automation.
“We see the rubber and plastics industry increasingly utilizing industrial automation to the extent that, by 2015, it will be the largest consumer of industrial robotics on a revenue basis—even larger than the auto industry,” said Fisher.
Food and beverage handling and processing will also see growth in robotics use as manufacturers realize the benefits on sanitation, Fisher noted.