2021 Industrial Robot Inventory

In 2020, the unpredictable new crown epidemic made the global manufacturing industry begin to accelerate the thinking of “how to continue and upgrade production due to the lack of manpower”. Because of this, the reform of production methods and the process of industrial automation have taken a big step forward at both ends of the concept and the market.

For example, the core equipment in the automated production line – industrialrobot(10.250, -0.07, -0.68%).

2021 Industrial Robot Inventory

Let’s first look at two sets of data:

Demand side:

In 2020, the global average density of Industrial Robots is 126 units per 10,000 workers, while in 2015, this number was only 66, which has almost doubled in five years.

Supply side:

When the epidemic first came, Industrial Robots did not immediately respond to the trend of “upgrade”. Due to epidemic prevention and control, or due to their own market considerations, shipments in 2020 will only increase by 0.5% in countries around the world.

At this point, the only variable is China. In 2020, the global shipment of industrial robots was 383,000 units, of which China contributed 168,400 units, accounting for nearly 44%, making up for the lack of market supply.

The next story trajectory is not much different from what many people expected. In 2021, the global economy will recover and the demand for industrial robots will rebound. The global operating inventory has reached nearly 3.5 million units, and the shipment volume has increased by 13% from the previous year to 435,000 units, a new high since 2018.

After a brief review of the overall development of industrial robots since the epidemic, the Cube Knowledge and Manufacturing Bureau will focus on key regions and countries around the world, review the micro-level development of different types of industrial robots from the perspective of industry segmentation, and answer the following questions :

How long will the boom in industrial robots last? How will the future change? How will the dominance of the Chinese market continue?

01. Future anchors for smart manufacturing:

The world sees Asia, Asia sees China

The main market for global industrial robots is“Three Continents and Five Kingdoms”.

Three continents: Asia, Europe, North America.

Five countries: China, Japan, the United States, South Korea, and Germany. That is, the top five countries in the market account for 74% of the total installed industrial robots in the world.

From 2020 to 2021, global Industrial Robot shipments experienced a strong rebound from 0.5% to 13%, which is defined as “post-crisis prosperity”.

However, IFR (International Federation of Robotics) believes that the growth rate of the industrial robot industry may slow down – the average annual growth rate of industrial robot shipments will shrink to single digits from 2021 to 2024. At the same time, IFR predicts that in 2024, the global annual new installed capacity will exceed 500,000 units, and the total operating inventory will also approach or even exceed the 5 million mark.

It is a region and a country that are responsible for this change.

Let’s first look at the data of “Three Continents and Five Kingdoms”. The economic impact of the epidemic on the “three continents and five countries” is different, which also makes the five countries’ feedback on industrial robots from 2020 to 2021 different.

In 2020, the North American economy began to recover in the second half of the year, and the installed capacity in 2021 increased by 17% to 43,000 units;

The installed capacity in Europe was 67,700 units, down 8% year-on-year. However, Germany bucked the trend and rose, and the number of installations that year reached the third highest in history. The main reason is that a large number of overseas businesses, including China, have promoted the recovery of the industry. In 2021, the installed capacity in Europe will usher in another 8% increase, reaching 73,000 units.

The installed capacity of industrial robots in Asia reached 310,000, accounting for 72% of the global total, an increase of 15% over the previous year.

As the second largest market in the world, Japan exports 36% of its robotics and automation technology to China, with a market growth of 7% in 2021.

During the 2020 epidemic, under China’s highly effective epidemic prevention and control, the manufacturing industry rebounded from the second quarter of the year, and the order volume and manufacturing volume of industrial robots soared.

Among the three continents, the most eye-catching is still Asia. In terms of market basis, three of the top five countries in terms of industrial robot ownership are Asian countries. Among Asian countries, China has always been the leading country for industrial robots. Germany and Japan are big countries in the production and sales of industrial robots, and the recovery of the industry is also closely related to China.

If you know the importance of Asia and China in the global market of industrial robots, to analyze the future of the industry, it is this sentence:The world sees Asia, Asia sees China.

Since 2013, China has become the market with the highest annual new installed capacity in the world. According to the exclusive calculation of Lifang Zhizao Bureau, in 2021, the newly installed capacity of China’s industrial robots will reach 210,000 units, a year-on-year increase of 20%, accounting for more than 2/3 of the Asian market. At the same time, in 2021, the cumulative operating inventory of industrial robots in China will be 1.15 million units (943,000 units in 2020).

In 2021, China’s annual cumulative output of industrial robots will reach 366,000 units, with a year-on-year growth rate of 44.9%. However, since the fourth quarter, the growth rate has declined; on the other hand, the fixed investment in domestic manufacturing in 2021 will decline month by month.

This means that the brilliance of China’s industrial robot production in 2021 has reached its peak, and it will be difficult for the entire 2022 to run wild before the start of a new cycle.

The speed of prosperity may slow down, but China’s development has supported the future skeleton of the development of industrial robots.

02. The industry concentration in the Chinese market has increased,

Localization accelerates

Although the new crown epidemic was quickly contained in China, it still changed the market structure of domestic industrial robots in four aspects.

First, foreign brands have turned to increase investment in the Chinese market due to weak demand in overseas markets, and have adopted targeted price reductions for different types of industrial robots required by different industries.Impact on small-scale, specialized production enterprises in China;

Second, the global supply chain problems and enterprise management problems caused by the epidemic have quickly exposed some industrial robot manufacturers with low scale and homogeneous price wars in terms of their ability to resist risks and competitiveness;

Third, the epidemic has magnified the problem of labor shortages in some labor-intensive industries, and the “substitution” of industrial robots has become a must for many companies.

Fourth, China’s rapid resumption of work and production after the epidemic, and the recovery of overseas exports directly led to some sub-sectors that rely on exports to increase investment in local low-priced industrial robots, which to a certain extent promoted the vigorous development of local low-priced robots.

The phenomenon corresponding to these four points is that the reshuffle of China’s industrial robot industry has begun to accelerate, the industry concentration has increased, and the incremental market has further expanded.

From 2019 to 2020, the top 40 brand share of China’s industrial robots rose from 90.5% to 93.2%, and the top 20 share rose from 77.2% to 81.2%. As for the top 5 brands in China, the domestic market share has increased from 29% in 2018 to 38% in 2020.

In 2020 and 2021, the sales volume of domestic industrial robot brands in China will be 45,000 units and 62,000 units respectively, and the domestic market share will increase from 26.7% to 29%.

There is another data here. The domestic market accounted for 31.25% in 2019, indicating that during the epidemic, local brands with weak anti-risk capabilities experienced accelerated exits. In 2021, the proportion will rebound, indicating that China’s local robot brands will continue to improve their competitiveness under the continuous optimization of the pattern. In the future, the market share of local brands will further expand.

On the other hand, the segmented market of China’s manufacturing industry is increasing, and local industrial robot brands are more flexible and convenient than foreign brands to expand the local market. Therefore, in the downstream segmented track, the alternative advantages of local brands have emerged.

03. 4 types of workindustryCurrent situation of domestic replacement of robots

The downstream applications of global industrial robots are mainly concentrated in four major industries: auto parts, vehicle manufacturing, household appliances, and metal products.

In addition to these categories in the Chinese market, the electronics, photovoltaic, lithium battery and other industries that have developed rapidly in China in recent years also have a large demand for industrial robots.

In 2021, the sales volume of multi-joint robots in the Chinese market will be 130,000 units, accounting for 61.9%, down from 63% in 2020.

This is mainly becausemulti-joint robotIn the market, vertical multi-joint robots, which account for a larger proportion, are too deeply tied to the four traditional industries. Taking the six-axis robot as an example, 60% of the orders come from the four major industries. Chinese local industrial robot brands are rapidly penetrating into emerging markets.

The scara robot is the second largest category of industrial robots. It is similar to a human arm in structure and working method, so it is a key force under the trend of “substitution”.

In 2020, the resumption of work in many factories has been delayed, and the demand for SCARA robots has skyrocketed, with an increase of 59.1% compared with 2019, with a total sales volume of 46,300 units.

On the other hand, with the transformation and upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry, there will be more and more downstream application scenarios of SCARA robots: mobile phone industry chain, 5G, new energy, the prosperity of these industries has also improved significantly in recent years. Among them, the order volume of electronic products, photovoltaic and lithium battery industries accounts for 84% of SCARA’s total order volume.

This has brought the imagination space for domestic SCARA robots to be replaced by domestic robots. SCARA does not have high requirements for the core components and algorithms of robots, and can achieve domestic replacement. Even manufacturers such as Huichuan and Delta that produce parts and components have entered this field. .

The total market share of China’s top 3 SCARA robot companies is 19%.

Also affected by the trend of lightweight and flexible production, there arecollaborative robot,In 2021, the shipment will be 14,000 units, with a year-on-year growth rate of 91.3%, and the market will account for 6%, which is still in its infancy.

Delta RobotMainly used for sorting, assembly and other work scenarios, the application range is narrow, and the market share is still about 3%.

04. From Made in China 2025 to the “14th Five-Year Plan”,

4 directions for the development of industrial robots in the future

Although industrial robots have been developed for many years, they are still an emerging technology to be explored, and will become the cornerstone of modern industry in the near future. The policy has already been laid out.

China’s policies for industrial robots are mainly divided into two levels:

1. Build a top-level design from a macro perspective, improve the overall development level of China’s industrial robot industry, optimize the industrial structure, and ultimately achieve industrial upgrading;

2. Guide the development direction of technology and applications, and provide industrial chain support for the development of the industrial robot industry and localization substitution.

From the “Made in China 2025” issued by the State Council in 2015 to the end of the “Robot Industry Development Plan (2016-2020)”, the output of China’s industrial robots increased from 72,000 units to 212,000 units, an annual increase of 31%. The density of industrial robots in China has also increased from 51 units per 10,000 people in 2015 to 246 units per 10,000 people, twice the global average.

Beginning in 2021, a new round of development of industrial robots will be led by the “14th Five-Year Plan”. The main goals of industrial robots are:High-end, intelligent, innovative development.

According to the interpretation of the National Science and Technology Innovation Center, the development of industrial robots during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period is divided into four dimensions:

Innovation and integration: Promote the integration and application of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, big data, cloud computing, and industrial robots;

Make up for shortcomings: Improve the standard system of industrial robots, and continue to supplement core components and technologies such as high-end servo motors, RV reducers, and control algorithms;

continue to segment: Encourage the active cooperation between various enterprises and robot manufacturers, robot companies and parts companies, and promote the industrial robot industry to launch sub-field solutions for application scenarios such as power, mining, and construction;

Optimize the structure: Cultivate and support high-quality enterprises with ecological leadership and core competitiveness through the policies of “specialization, specialization and innovation” and “single champion”, so as to stabilize the industrial robot industry chain and promote localized substitution.


In China, industrial robots have covered 52 major industries and 143 medium-sized industries, and the average number of sets per 10,000 workers is twice the world average. But for a country with a complete industrial body, the number of industrial robots deployed will still increase.

The “Five-Year Development Plan for the Robot Industry in the 14th Five-Year Plan” jointly issued by 12 Chinese departments will not only promote the sustainable and healthy development of China’s industrial robot industry in a new round of cycles, but also promote the sustainable and healthy development of China’s industrial robot industry in the new cycle. , to promote the global industrial robot technology, and the progress of industrial automation.

In the future, we expect more industrial robots and domestic industrial robots to enter the workshop.

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