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Overview Of Global Industrial Robot Developmen

Date: 2023.03.09


According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) classification, robots can be divided into industrial robots and service robots. Industrial robots are used in manufacturing production environments, mainly including human-machine collaborative robots and industrial mobile robots; Service robots are generally used in non manufacturing environments, mainly including personal/household service robots and public service robots.

The research on robot technology began in the mid-20th century, mainly based on the rapid development of computer technology and automation technology. In China, the research on robot technology began in the 1980s, and the urgent demand for mass production has driven the progress of automation technology. CNC machine tools have emerged, and the research on control and mechanical components related to CNC machine tools has laid the foundation for the development of robots. The upstream of the robot industry chain covers chips, controllers, servo, perception, etc., while the midstream includes robot bodies and supporting systems. Its application fields include manufacturing, national defense, military industry, and livelihood services, while the downstream includes intelligent manufacturing and intelligent service solutions.

A report from Morgan Stanley shows that the global penetration rate of robots is currently 0.9%, with robots accounting for about 1% of the labor market. In 2021, the global sales of industrial robots are expected to be around 630,000 units. It is expected that the global penetration rate of the entire industrial robot industry will reach 7% -18% by 2040, and the proportion of industrial robots in the labor market is expected to reach 8% -21%. Currently, more and more manufacturing companies and logistics service providers are adopting innovative solutions that integrate industrial robots and intelligent algorithms. Therefore, although the global industrial robot market may fluctuate in the short term, it relies on long-term trends in automation and technological improvement. The market prospects for effectively utilizing robot technology to comprehensively build digital factories and achieve industrial structure innovation in the future are still promising.

Digital factory refers to the construction of a complete production and supply chain system, including intelligent warehousing systems, intelligent transportation systems, intelligent mechanical equipment, intelligent perception networks, and information integration platforms, by enterprises using sensing, machine vision, and other technologies, relying on core equipment such as industrial robots, to achieve the digitalization of the entire process of product development, product design, product manufacturing, and product quality management. Digital factories are the main application direction of intelligent manufacturing solutions.

In the national strategy, intelligent manufacturing is centered around the intelligence of the manufacturing process, based on end-to-end data flow, and driven by digital technology. Therefore, digital factories are the primary deployment focus of intelligent manufacturing solutions for industrial enterprises in China in the next 10 years. Based on the characteristics of low latency, high reliability, and wide coverage of 5G technology, the digital factory jointly built by modern industrial robots with new materials and multiple intelligences has become a strategic direction for leading enterprises in robotics and intelligent manufacturing, such as ABB and KUKA.

In 2022, the lightweight, flexible, and human-machine collaboration capabilities of industrial robots in China are the core focus of industry research and development. With the continuous improvement of enterprise research and development level, continuous innovation of process design, and the application of new materials, industrial robots in the future are developing towards miniaturization, lightness, and flexibility, and their refined operation capabilities are continuously enhanced.