International sales of industrial robots boomed last year, and growth is predicted to continue expand sharply, particularly in China.
The International Federation of Robotics’ World Robotics Survey predicts an average growth of 15 per cent, year on year, up to 2018, with annual figures doubling from 2014 to 400,000.
Growth last year continued to be underpinned by the automotive and electronics industries, despite the current downturn, there was huge potential in China. Asia was the main driver of growth in 2014.
“The automation witnessed by the automotive sector and the electrical/electronics industry comes out top here with a market share of 64 per cent," said Arturo Baroncelli, the IFR’s president.
China’s purchases of industrial robots rose 56 per cent on 2013's numbers, though workforce robotics density had much room to increase. This was 36 units per 100,000 employees, compared to 478 for South Korea, 315 for Japan, 292 for Germany and 164 for the USA.