The global robotic market consists of a wide range of technologies that are advancing at light speed paces and expecting huge growths. This is especially seen within the collaborative branch. The collaborative robot market is expecting an incredibly high growth rate over the next few years. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 60.04% between 2016 and 2022, from 110 million USD in 2015 to 3.3 billion USD in 2022 (1).
One of the reasons for this amazing growth is the fact that robots are no longer a tool for just industrial processes; small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are now able to afford the advantages of robots. The collaborative robotics market is quickly becoming more affordable, easier to use, and less complex for training purposes. This ultimately allows for more expansive options and further increases the drive and the demand of the robotics market. Collaborative robots now enable industries of all sizes and scales to stay competitive as they use the latest sensors, plug and play technologies, and automatic robot programming from CAD data.
The collaborative application of robotics enables humans and robots to safely and effectively work together in an uncaged environment, with no risk of injuries/damages. Collaborative robots were designed with multiple advanced sensors, software, and EOATs that help them swiftly and easily detect and adapt to any sort of intrusion into its work envelope. They are also easy to integrate and program and some can simply be taught a path by being hand guided.
Collaborative robots provide a practical solution for manufacturing processes that require taxing work and/or heavy lifting combined with tasks that need a worker to see, feel, and react as necessary. They are designed to assist the production worker and are simpler than more traditional robots, making them easier to program and cheaper to buy, operate, and maintain.
The automotive industry accounted for the largest share of the collaborative robot market in 2015, and the furniture and equipment industry is expected to do the same, with rapid growth expected over the next five years (2). Collaborative robots are preferred by automotive end-users as they are easy to program and integrate, and have lower costs, weights, and footprints. Additionally, they empower employees while also reducing their work stress and increasing overall safety. For instance, collaborative robots can help assist with dangerous tasks such as heavy lifting, repetitive straining tasks, or application of toxic materials.
Competition drives vendors to constantly invest money into research and development that then results in robotic companies continuing to upgrade the product features, prices, customized solutions, and services. The key vendors in the global collaborative market include ABB, FANUC, Universal Robots, and KUKA that covers a wide range of applications such as material handling, assembly, painting, inspection, and welding. The collaborative sector can include robot-human collaboration and also robot-robot collaboration.
Material handling dominated the collaborative robot market, especially within the automotive industry, in 2016 (2). The automotive industry would use them on a large scale to handle individual vehicle parts of various shapes and sizes. Electrical, rubber and plastic, and food and beverage industries are also expected to increase the collaborative markets on their floors.
A few of the collaborative robots available today are ABB's amazingly dexterous YuMi; FANUC's Collaborative Family that includes a large 35kg payload robot along with a mini-series, Universal Robots' lightweight and compact options; and KUKA's intelligent LBR iiwa series. Motoman also has the HC10 robot set to release soon.
The expected growth in the collaborative robotics movement reflects the ability of this sector to improve application functionality, while empowering human workers, and also decreasing the amount of space necessary for a robotic unit. This collaborative technology is offering huge advantages to businesses, production lines, and workers and is ready to help bring you the best ROI.
If you are interested in learning more about Collaborative Robots, contact our sales department online or call us at 740-251-4312.
(1) Tobe, Frank. "46 Research Reports Analyze the Robotics Industry and Autonomous Vehicles" https://www.therobotreport.com/news/45-research-reports-for-you-to-review