Universal Robots A/S, the leading producer of collaborative robot arms, today reported record revenue for 2021 of $311 million (U.S.). The Odense, Denmark-based company said its revenue increased by 41% over 2020 and was 23% over its 2019 pre-pandemic results.
“Universal Robots has had a great year,” stated Kim Povlsen, president of Universal Robots. “In a company like ours, which manufactures sophisticated hardware to high quality standards, this sort of growth requires tremendous commitment from all involved.”
“Our production team in Denmark has broken internal records for the number of cobots built, producing 400 cobots in a single week in Q4,” he added. “Our supply chain experts have worked hard to keep our business running smoothly despite global supply challenges.”
Universal Robots grows with cobot market
Collaborative robots include sensors and software to operate safely around humans without the need for safety cages. End users should still conduct safety assessments based on use case and payload. In addition, the smaller, lighter cousins of industrial robot arms are intended to be easier to program and apply to different tasks, such as machine tending or welding.
The global market for cobots will grow from $590 million in 2020 to $1.9 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3%, predicted Research and Markets. Mordor Intelligence was similarly bullish, forecasting a CAGR of 18.37%, from $668.3 million in 2020 to $1.8 billion in 2026.
Universal Robots claimed that it introduced “the world's first commercially viable” collaborative robot in 2008. Since then, the company has installed more than 50,000 cobots worldwide, representing a fast-growing niche in industrial automation.
Universal Robots' product portfolio now includes the UR3e, UR5e, UR10e, and UR16e, reflecting a range of reaches and payloads. Each model is supported by a wide selection of end effectors, software, accessories, and application kits in the UR+ partner ecosystem. This allows the robots to be used across a wide range of industries and means that they can be redeployed across diverse tasks.
In addition, Universal Robots offers the UR Academy to help train staffers and users as part of its focus on cobot applications. The company has 15 offices worldwide and is owned by Boston-based Teradyne Inc.
Q4 2021 breaks UR records
Universal Robots noted that the fourth quarter of last year also broke records, with sales increasing 22% over Q4 2020 and 28% up on Q4 2019.
“Our growth is driven by several long-term trends, including workforce shortages and growing awareness of the contribution automation can make to productivity,” said Povlsen. “As well as reaching new consumers, we see repeat business from manufacturers extending their use of cobots after seeing the impact of the technology.”
UR's earnings announcement came on the heels of Mobile Industrial Robots ApS's report of 42% sales growth. MiR is also owned by Teradyne. Universal Robots added that it expects strong cobot growth to continue in 2022.
“Demand for collaborative robots is set to grow, and our unique ecosystem is growing with it,” Povlsen said. “Working with more than 1,000 independent companies—including component, kit and application manufacturers, certified integrators and distributors—collaborative innovation is what sets our growth journey apart.”
About the Author
Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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