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Robot makers gear up for fast growth

2013-11-06 10:17

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

China will be the world's largest robotics market by 2015, as urbanization and industrial upgrading drive demand for smart manufacturing and automation, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

The IFR has forecast that the nation's market for industrial robots will reach 35,000 units in 2015, accounting for 16.9 percent of the global total.

Robot makers gear up for fast growth

Visitors have fun with a robot "Robocoaster" from Germany at China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, on Nov 5, 2013. [Photo/China Daily]

Over the next two years, revenue in the robotics market may reach 1 trillion yuan ($161 billion) in China, the organization forecast.

The math is simple: the average wage in the manufacturing industry has been increasing by 10 to 20 percent annually, while the price of robots has been dropping about 4 percent every year.

"Robot sales are expected to grow by at least 15 percent this year," said Gu Chunyuan, head of the discrete automation and motion division for North Asia and China at Switzerland-based ABB Ltd.

"The demand for robots has surged in each of the past three years, and the momentum will continue in the next few years."

China's industrial robotics market started to boom in 2010, as the sales rose by 1.71 times from 2009, taking the nation's robot "population" to 52,290 units.

The robust sales continued in 2011, with year-on-year growth of 51 percent, still the fastest in the world, representing deliveries of 22,600 units. In 2012, sales stood at 23,000 units.

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