According to the market research report “Industrial Robotics Market – Global Forecast & Analysis by Applications, Functions, Product & Geography (2012 – 2017)” published by MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com), the total industrial robotics market is expected to reach $32.8 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 5.0% from 2012 to 2017.
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Over the last 50 years, industrial robotics’ applications have evolved from simple tasks like “pick and place” to complex functions like welding, glass & metal precision cutting, and assembling & dissembling. In terms of structure, industrial robots progressed from cylindrical co-ordinate frame to flexible multi axis arms, which can function in dynamic environment. Their dependence on human operators still needs innovations to function independently. As the automation of manufacturing processes evolved, so did the industrial robots.
Post 2000, due to increased globalization, drive of modernizing and automating the manufacturing units began in almost all the major industries across the world. The growing demand, competition, and pressure to increase productivity have forced the other non-automotive industries to integrate industrial robotics into their manufacturing facilities. Industrial robotics, being the next step of automation, had a smooth ride during this period, and the global industrial robotics market touched new highs in yearly shipments of robots.
Industrial robotics started its journey with automotive applications; but off late, it has made its way into non-automotive industries’ manufacturing facilities as well. As the employers struggle to find skilled people to fill positions, robots can help to shift the human resources out of jobs that do not use their ability to the fullest. Industrial robots have proven to deliver a host of benefits in a wide variety of applications like welding & soldering, handling of materials and processing, assembling & disassembling, dispensing and painting, cutting, milling and other processing, and the other functions. The most articulated robots perform by storing a series of positions in memory, and moving to them at various times in their programming sequence. Vision guidance (aka machine vision) is bringing a lot of flexibility to robotic cells.
The misconception among employee unions of increasing unemployment with the installation of industrial robotics in manufacturing facility is due to lack of awareness, inaccurate cost justification given by management of companies, and constant additional training costs.
Outside of Japan, Western Europe and North America, the robotics industry is at fruitful ground for growth from 2012 onwards, led by growing economies like South Korea, China, India, and Brazil.
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