While robots are quickly spreading beyond automotive manufacturing to other sectors, most systems are still used in factories. The industrial automation industry continues to grow.
In 2021, the global market for industrial automation was worth about $43.8 billion, according to Statista. By 2030, it could grow to $116 billion, estimated Allied Market Research.
Demand for robots in places such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, and distribution centers continues to increase as sensors, motion control, and software advance, making the hardware more capable and easier to use. Tasks or applications growing in popularity include machine tending and welding.
Coupled with the labor shortage and an aging workforce, more and more businesses are starting to see the value of industrial automation.
Top shops around the world
Many of the top industrial automation providers are based in Asia or Europe, rather than in North America. Some examples include Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Group and Kitakyushu, Japan-based Yaskawa. They are big companies with employees ranging in the thousands, and each has U.S. offices.
The biggest robotics vendors have billions of dollars in annual revenue. As these companies get bigger, so too does the range of robots they offer.
For example, FANUC America Corp. last month introduced its new M-1000ia robot, which it said is “its largest serial-link robot to date.” What sets the robot apart is its wider range of motion, the company said. It can also carry payloads of up to 1,000 kg (2,204 lb.).
Rochester Hills, Mich.-based FANUC America and has over 1,500 employees throughout the Americas. It is a subsidiary of Japan-based FANUC Corp., which made more than $5 billion in 2021.
Check out the slideshow on the right (bottom on mobile) to see that robot in action along with a list of the top industrial automation companies and some of their recent innovations.
About the Author
Cesareo Contreras is associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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