Report: World Industrial Robot Demand Up 38 Percent
The International Federation of Robotics reports that global sales of industrial robots increased by 38 percent in 2011 over 2010. Although Asia is the largest regional user, the biggest increases happened in the Americas. (Source: International Federation of Robotics)
I agree, Al. It's definitely encouraging to see second- and third-tier automotive suppliers bouncing back. This is in part why automakers got bailed out a few years ago. The effects of financial failure of a big automaker are far-reaching.
Al, thanks for the clarification. Yes, I think it's directly related to an upturn in automotive manufacturing and to the upturn in overall manufacturing, not just automotive, since the downturn. And so does the IRF. I saw similar trends in machine vision a couple of years ago, in both the US and Europe: an upturn directly related to the upturn in manufacturing, at about the same time as this robotics/manufacturing upturn.
Ann, I was referring to variations year to year in automotive production. I tend to agree with Chuck that it would be interesting to see how the downturn in production affected usage of robots. I really don't have a good handle on yearly volumes to make the comparisons myself. Thanks.
I do wonder how much these numbers were affected by the automotive downturn a few years ago and the subsequent upturn now. I wonder how the automotive numbers would compare to say, 2005 or 2006, when auto sales in the U.S. were higher.
Yes, it is a big number! As we mentioned in the story, the IRF data says the global downturn in automotive investment in robotics was during 2006-2009. What we didn't say was the fact that overall industrial robot demand is up everywhere after slumping during the worldwide economic downturn. That's part of the reason for the big jump, according to the IRF. My question to you was requesting a definition of what you meant by "variations in auto production"? Did you mean variations over time in the US, or variations across countries throughout the world, or something else?
Ann, I am surprised by the magnitude of the increase in demand for industrial robots. A 38% increase from 2010 to 2011 for industrial robots, led by automotive and electrical/electronics assembly, is a big number.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.