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The business of using robots in production is booming

According to the IFR’s World Robotics Report 2017, the number of industrial robots is expected to increase from its current figure of 1.3 million to more than 3 million by 2020.

22 Nov. 2017
Michael Triadan
The business of using robots in production is booming (graphic: IFR)

The International Federation of Robotics has issued this forecast in its current annual report . According to the industry association, some 1.3 million industrial robots are in use all over the globe today. The IFR therefore assumes that this figure will be more than doubled – within less than three years. At the presentation of the World Robotics Report 2017 in Frankfurt, Joe Gemma, IFR President, voiced optimism: “Interconnected, high-precision robots will take on a key role in industrial production in future.” The rapidly growing range of models increases the number of ways in which these can be used, and smaller companies will soon be able to automate their business processes without major expenses. Further development will probably focus on Cobots, which are collaborative robot systems that work closely together with humans. The best opportunity to keep up with the latest research on this will come at the Robotics Congress on 7 February 2018 in Hanover. Early-bird discounts can be had until 31 December (99 euros instead of 169 euros).

In retrospect, we can see the industries and regions that the driving forces behind this development are likely to come from: in 2016 the number of robots increased by 16 % to 294,312, the major rise being in the electrical/electronics industry (+ 41 %, overall percentage 31 %). China, Japan and Korea lead the field. Meanwhile, the motor vehicle industry, at 35 %, is still the major buyer of industrial robots.