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The industrial robotics market is on the rise, as evidenced by the recently released figures from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) from the World Robotics Report 2018 published in October 2018. According to it, worldwide sales of industrial robots grew by 29% or 294,300 units in 2017 compared to 2016, reaching the new record of 380,550 units. The biggest demand for industrial robots clearly comes from the automotive industry. In 2017, around 125,200 units were sold to this industry alone. This corresponds to a growth of 21%. The largest increase in demand was recorded by the metal industry with a plus of 54%, the electrical/electronics industry (+ 27%), and the food industry (+ 19%).

Sales grew again particularly strongly in Asia, which is where the largest single markets are. Approximately 38,000 robots were installed in Japan, around 40,000 in South Korea, and around 138,000 in China. The front-runner also recorded the biggest increase of demand in 2017, with a plus of 58%. In the United States, sales increased by just 6%, with about 33,000 units sold. As a comparison, 22,000 industrial robots were sold in Germany, Europe’s largest single market, an increase of 8%.