• Industrial robots in Asia on the rise

From 2010 – 2015, sales of industrial robots in Asia grew by 70% to 887,400 units, with 2015 alone jumping 19% to 160,000 units, which is a new record for the fourth consecutive year, according to a report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

China—the largest market for industrial robots in the world—represents 43% of all sales to Asia, including Australia and New Zealand. Next is South Korea, with 24% of regional sales, and Japan with 22%. In total, 89% of all robots sold in Asia and Australia went to these three countries in 2015. While growth is expected in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and other Southeast Asian countries, the main growth driver in the region will remain China. By 2019, according to the IFR, almost 40% of the global supply of robots will be installed in China.

"China will continue to be a strong future market for the robotics industry. Part of this trend is driven by the Chinese government´s 2025 initiative to support automation. The country aims to become a leader in automation globally," said Joe Gemma, President of IFR.

In terms of the market driving growth, the electrical and electronics industry had a sales increase of 41% in 2015 to 56,200 units, compared to 54,500 in the automotive industry, which was a 4% increase. Within the past five years, shipments of industrial robots to the electrical and electronics industry have more than doubled. The largest market for robotics remains manufacturing, which recorded an annual growth of 25% to 149,500 in 2015.

While these figures cover 2015, the rise in robotics sales is something to keep an eye on. Just last month, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) released a report stating that orders and shipments of robots in North America reached an all-time high in 2016, as 34,606 robots valued at approximately $1.9 billion were ordered, representing a 10% growth over 2015.

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