Industrial robot sales hit record in 2013

The International Federation of Robotics reported the highest number of units sold in 2013.


Industrial robots sales increased 12% in 2013 to a new record, and there are indications that total will be surpassed in 2014.

At June's AUTOMATICA in Munich, International Federation of Robotics (IFR) President, Arturo Baroncelli said 179,000 industrial robots were sold in 2013, a 12% jump from 2012 and the highest number of units sold ever.PLE_1406_WEB_IMG_Robot_Report_Sales Courtesy: The Robot Report

Further, he said that "Incoming orders in the first four months of 2014 increased remarkably and requests from customers are on the rise. Therefore, we expect that in 2014 growth of unit sales will continue with the same pace as in 2013."

The IFR detailed those 179,000 robots and showed that almost 100,000 were installed in Asia/Australia and China was the biggest buyer with almost 36,560. Of those, about 9,000 units were provided by Chinese vendors; the remainder from Japanese, German and Swiss providers. Robot sales to China have increased yearly from 2009 to 2013 averaging 36% annually.

Japan was the number two buyer with 26,015, down 9% from 2012 because of reduced investments and the tsunami and Fukushima disasters. The U.S. was the third largest buy with 23,679, up 6% from 2012.

Baroncelli cited five reasons that the trend towards automation is accelerating:

  • The need to increase energy efficiency and the use of new materials.

  • Global competitiveness and the need for increased productivity and quality.

  • Growing global consumer markets are creating the need for greater production capacities.

  • Shorter life-cycles of products and an increasing variety of products.

  • A growing awareness that robots improve the quality of work by taking over dull, dirty and dangerous jobs.

An IFR chart estimated that for 2014 the number will be 200,000 units, a 12% gain from 2013.

Frank Tobe is owner and publisher of The Robot Report. This article originally appeared here.  Edited by Brittany Merchut, Project Manager, CFE Media,



C.G. , FL, United States, 06/19/14 08:20 AM:

VERY interesting! It would be good to also have figures for dollar (or Euro, or whatever currency) sales as well. Of course, if you just gave currency-denominated sales, I'd be asking for unit sales.
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.