Market intelligence firm Interact Analysis has released a new market report – The Collaborative Robot Market – 2019 – which indicates strong and sustained growth for the collaborative robot industry.
In 2018, global revenues from cobot production exceeded $550 million, according to the report. This was almost a 60% increase over 2017; and over 19,000 cobots were shipped. Interact Analysis forecasts that revenues for cobots will reach $5.6 billion in 2027, accounting for almost one third of the total robotics market, and that <5kg and 5-9 kg cobots, popular in small to medium-sized industrial settings, will represent the majority of sales in 2023.
Material handling, assembly and pick & place will be the three biggest applications of collaborative robots. But these functions, which accounted for 75% of cobot revenues in 2018, will drop to below of 70% total revenues by 2023, as other functions for cobots are developed.
The use of cobots in non-industrial applications will play a significant role in the coming years – in sectors such as life sciences, logistics, and the hospitality sector. In part, this is because they are flexible and easy to set up, making them attractive to smaller companies which may not have previously considered using robots.
Labor shortages and the drive to improve efficiency mean that China will be the fastest growing region for cobot shipments. The demand for simple, cost-effective, entry-level robots, together with different regulations surrounding industrial equipment in China has fuelled the growth of Chinese cobot manufacturers who only supply their local market. This has arguably distorted the market figures. Interact Analysis has responded to this by including in its report two data sets, one with and one without the impact of China. It is important to note, however, that growth outside of China is still forecast to rise at a CAGR of over 30% in the next 5 years.
Maya Xiao, lead analyst on cobots for Interact Analysis, says: “The collaborative robot market is still relatively immature, but Interact Analysis has identified clear potential growth areas, both in industrial and non-industrial settings, enabling manufacturers to respond effectively, and take full advantage of what we predict to be an area which will occupy a significant market share in the coming years.”
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) recently released its annual World Robotics Report. For the first time, the report tracked the number of cobots sold worldwide. According to the IFR, less than 14,000 cobots were sold in 2018, accounting for 3.24% of total industrial robot sales. However, the 2018 numbers are an increase of 23% from the 11,000 cobots that were sold in 2017.
To find the cobot arm that is best for your application, our comparison chart is a great place to start. It compares 100 collaborative robot arms by maximum payload, maximum horizontal reach, repeatability and degrees of freedom.