Robots: US Growth Outperforms China – IFR Presents World Robotics

  • US robot installations rose by 22 percent

FRANKFURT, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#americafirstRobot installations in the United States increased for the eighth year in a row to a new peak of about 40,300 units in 2018. This is 22% higher than in 2017. The driver of the growth in all manufacturing industries has been the ongoing trend to automate production in order to strengthen the U.S. industries in both domestic and global markets. In China, the new World Robotics report presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) shows robot installations were 1% less compared to the previous year.

“We saw a dynamic performance in 2018 with a new sales record, even as the main customers for robots – the automotive and electrical-electronics industry – had a difficult year,” says Junji Tsuda, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “The US-China trade conflict imposes uncertainty to the global economy – customers tend to postpone investments. But it is exciting that the mark of 400,000 robot installations per year has been passed for the first time.”

The new World Robotics report shows an annual global sales value of 16.5 billion USD in 2018 – a new record. IFR forecasts shipments in 2019 will recede from the record level in 2018, but expects an average growth of 12 percent per year from 2020 to 2022.

Asia, Europe and the Americasoverview

Asia is the world’s largest industrial robot market. In 2018, there was a mixed picture: Installations in China and the Republic of Korea declined, while Japan increased considerably. In total, Asia grew by 1%. The second largest market, Europe, increased by 14% and reached a new peak for the sixth year in a row. In the Americas, the growth rate reached 20% more than the year before – also a new record level for the sixth year in a row.

China remains the world´s largest industrial robot market with a share of 36% of total installations. Chinese robot suppliers increased their share of total installations on the domestic market by 5 percentage points (2018: 27% vs. 2017: 22%). This result is in line with China´s policy to promote domestic manufacturers.

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