FRANKFURT,Germany—The latest World Robotics report presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) shows an annual global sales value of $16.5 billion dollars in 2018, a new record. Nearly 422,000 units were shipped globally in 2018, an increase of 6 percent compared to the previous year. IFR forecasts shipments in 2019 will recede from the record level in 2018, but expects an average growth of 12 percent per year from 2020 to 2022.
“We saw a dynamic performance in 2018 with a new sales record, even as the main customers for robots – the automotive and electrical-electronics industry – had a difficult year,” says Junji Tsuda, president of the IFRs. “It is exciting, that the mark of 400,000 robot installations per year has been passed for the first time. The IFR´s longer term outlook shows that the ongoing automation trend and continued technical improvements will result in double digit growth, with an estimate of about 584,000 units in 2022.”
Asia is the world's largest industrial robot market. In 2018, there was a mixed picture for the three largest Asian markets: Installations in China and the Republic of Korea declined, while Japan increased considerably. In total, Asia grew by 1 percent. Robot installations in the second largest market, Europe, increased by 14 percent and reached a new peak for the sixth year in a row. In the Americas, the growth rate reached 20 percent more than the year before which also marks a new record level for the sixth year in a row.
Five major industrial robot markets represent 74 percent of global installations in 2018: China, Japan, Republic of Korea, the United States and Germany.