The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) recently released the World Robotics Report 2016 and the European Union occupies top position in the global automation race.
By 2019, more than 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world – that’s the latest forecast. Currently, 65 percent of countries with an above-average number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees, are located in the EU. The strongest growth drivers for the robotics industry are found in China; however, in 2019 some 40 percent of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots will be sold there alone.
The USA is currently the fourth largest single market for industrial robots in the world. Within the NAFTA area (USA, Canada and Mexico), the total number of newly installed industrial robots rose by 17 percent to a new record of some 36,000 units (2015). The leader of the pack was the USA, accounting for three-quarters of all units sold. With a comparatively much smaller amount of units, the demand in Canada increased by 49 percent (5,466 units).
“Automation is a central competitive factor for traditional manufacturing groups, but is also becoming increasingly important for small and medium-sized enterprises around the world”, says Joe Gemma, President of the International Federation. With a stable economic situation, it may be expected that North America will see average annual growth of 5 to 10 percent in sales of robots from 2016 to 2019.
The enormous automation programmes with robots had a positive effect on employment with both the U.S. and Germany seeing job growth parallel to the growth of robotic automation. The positive effect of automation on the number of jobs is confirmed by a study recently published by the ZEW, in partnership with the University of Utrecht. In essence, reduced production costs result in better market prices. The increasing demand then triggers more jobs.