The industrial robotics market is projected to grow from USD 15.7 billion in 2022 to USD 30.8 billion by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.3% during the forecast period.
Anticipated shortage of skilled labor in manufacturing industries and growing adoption of Industry 4.0 is one of the primary factors for the deployment of industrial robotics are factors driving demand of industrial robotics. Emergence of Industry 5.0 will boost the growth potential for industrial robotics in the coming years.
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Top Leaders – Industrial Robotics Industry
- FANUC Corporation (FANUC (Japan)),
- ABB (Switzerland),
- Yaskawa Electric (Yaskawa (Japan)),
- KUKA (Germany),
- Mitsubishi Electric (Japan),
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan),
- DENSO (Japan),
- Nachi-Fujikoshi (Japan),
- Seiko Epson (Japan), and
- Dürr (Germany), among others.
Industry 4.0 refers to the current industrial revolution that is led by the evolution of robotics, automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things are increasing the automation of previously manual tasks with a collection of real-time data, AI and device interconnectivity. Industrial robots are a special class of industrial equipment that perform such manual tasks efficiently, accurately, and with repeatability. For instance, the state of Michigan in the US launched the industry 4.0 initiative to equip small manufacturers with knowledge and resources to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. The Chinese government has launched Made in China 2025, a state-led industrial policy that seeks to make China dominant in global high-tech manufacturing. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Made in China 2025 is part of a three-step strategy for China to become a world leader in advanced manufacturing:
- China should equal the manufacturing power of Germany and Japan by 2025.
- China should be among the world’s top manufacturing powers by 2035.
- China should be the world’s top manufacturing power by 2045, having achieved innovation-driving capabilities, clear competitive advantages, and world-leading technology and industrial systems.
The increase in automation is expected to enable electronics companies to innovate further, as they would be able to build prototypes in less time and with limited capital. Robots can be used across the entire production cycle in processes such as assembly, dispensing, milling, inspection, packaging, and palletizing. Advancements in end effectors and vision systems are also contributing to the push for robots. For instance, random bin picking enables robots to pick unsorted components from bins and mount them as per the required orientation. The demand for robot end effectors for electrical and electronic applications is also growing alongside the demand for industrial robots.
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Emergence of Industry 5.0
The concept of Industry 5.0 is a relatively new one. According to the European Commission, Industry 5.0 provides a vision of industry that aims beyond efficiency and productivity as the sole goals and reinforces the role and the contribution of industry to society. It places the wellbeing of the worker at the center of the production process and uses new technologies to provide prosperity beyond jobs and growth while respecting the production limits of the planet. Industry 5.0 complements the industry 4.0 approach by specifically putting research and innovation at the service of the transition to a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European industry. Industrial robots will be a critical component of the fifth industrial revolution. They will help close the design loop. By fully and efficiently automating the entire production process, humans will be left free to create and innovate without having to worry about production constraints. In contrast to Industry 4.0, Industry 5.0 aims to put the human touch back into development and production. It is expected to utilize the creative intellectual capability of humans optimally. Thus, the emergence of industry 5.0 will create a lucrative opportunity for collaborative robots.
Safety concerns related to industrial robotics systems
Numerous safety issues are associated with industrial robots. Some robots, notably those in a traditional industrial environment, are fast and powerful. This increases the potential for injury as one swing from a robotic arm, for instance, could cause serious bodily harm. There are additional risks when a robot malfunctions or requires maintenance. A malfunctioning robot is typically unpredictable and can cause injury to workers. For instance, a robotic arm that is part of a car assembly line may experience a jammed motor, and the worker fixing the jam may get hit by the arm when it becomes unjammed. Similarly, a worker standing in a zone overlapping with nearby robotic arms may get injured by other moving equipment. Several Indian companies have reported crushing and trapping accidents, and impact or collision accidents caused by malfunctioning mechanical parts of industrial robots. For instance, in 2020, a 44-year-old welding worker at Automotive Stampings & Assemblies Ltd (Asal) in Pune (India) was killed after being hit on the head and neck by the arm of a robotic machine.
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