Report: Industrial robots are back on track

March 17, 2021
Semi-conductors, chemicals, and food & beverage industries will be major drivers of robotics sector.

Interact Analysis has published a new report showing that the industrial-robots sector is on track to deliver a swift recovery after a recent unprecedented two-year downturn.

During the economic slow-down in 2019 the industrial-robotics sector saw shipments fall by 5.4%, cites Interact, which notes that the pandemic of 2020 saw a further fall of 5.9% as 80,000 fewer units were shipped than previously forecast.

Interact Analysis acknowledges that pre-COVID estimates of growth up to 2024 have now gone out of the window, but it has identified strong drivers for growth as economies emerge from the pandemic. The company’s research has concluded that new industry applications for robotics and more advanced technologies, coupled with reducing prices, will cause an acceleration in revenues in 2021, with an increase of 9.2% in revenue terms, and 9.6% in shipment terms. This will be followed by sustained growth up to 2024.

Articulated robots are predicted to be the slowest to recover to 2019 levels, given that the automotive industry in which they are predominantly used has been hit so badly by the pandemic.

Sales of SCARA robots, used in light duty pick and place and assembly operations are predicted to recover, as their potential for use in different applications is recognized. The collaborative-robot market, which saw negative growth for the first time in 2020, is forecast to bounce back with an impressive 15-20% year-on-year growth rate up to 2028.

“The downturn of 2019 and the shock of the pandemic tripped up the industrial robotics market, but it only stumbled,” said Jan Zhang, senior director at Interact Analysis. “Factors such as staff shortages, social distancing, the ever-pressing need for efficiency and speed, and the realization of the need to build in resilience in the face of world shocks such as COVID-19 mean that now more than ever industries across the globe recognize the value of robotics. We believe the next few years will see the sector recover its footing and thrive.” 

Get the report here.