Robot Market Will Be Driven by Auto Factories, Medical Institutions, Firm Says

May 3, 2013
Atsushi Takano, Nikkei Monozukuri

Fuji Keizai Co Ltd, a Japan-based research firm, conducted a research on the global robot market of the next seven years and announced its results.

According to the results, the market size for robots designed for manufacturing industries will be ¥645.5 billion (approx US$6.59 billion) in 2020, which is about 1.6 times larger than in 2012. And the market size for robots for nonmanufacturing industries will be ¥112.7 billion in 2020, which is about 3.8 times larger than in 2012.

The growth of the market for robots for manufacturing industries will be driven by automobile-related facilities while that for robots for nonmanufacturing industries will be driven by cleaner robots and medical/nursing-care/welfare robots, Fuji Keizai said.

As for robots for manufacturing industries, Japan-based companies are making investments in auto-related facilities in China, Thailand, Indonesia, etc, resulting in a growing demand for robots. In China, automation of manufacturing processes is rapidly increasing to address the problem of rising labor costs and improve product quality.

Also, some Japanese, European and US firms are increasing their production capacities in countries other than China to reduce so-called "China risk." Therefore, it is expected that the demand for robots will grow in Thailand and Indonesia in the short term and India, Vietnam and Myanmar in the long term. On the other hand, in Japan and Europe, robots are being introduced to improve the efficiencies of complicated processes.

The market for robots for nonmanufacturing industries is expected to be driven by cleaner robots in the short term and medical/nursing-care/welfare robots in the long term. The demand for cleaner robots will keep growing for a time because they often appear in media and are being recognized as home appliances. However, the demand will mature in 2020, and its growth rate will decrease, Fuji Keizai said.

On the other hand, there is a huge demand for automation and power saving at hospitals and nursing-care facilities. Also, the concept of the "ISO13482," an international safety standard for personal care robots, will be formed in 2013, and its specific safety design procedures and standards are expected to be established in 2015 or later. Therefore, Fuji Keizai forecasts that the market for medical/nursing-care/welfare robots will grow.