US robot density now more than double that of China

Posted on 3 Apr 2019 by Maddy White

Robot density in the US manufacturing industry is now more than double that of China and ranks seventh across the world.

Robot density in the sector reached 200 robots per 10,000 employees, comparatively China has 97 robots per 10,000 workers.

manufacturing factory robot automation UK productivity - STOCK
Since 2010, the demand for industrial robots has accelerated.

The trend to automate production in both domestic and global markets is the main driving force of robot installations in the US, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

Robot sales in the US also hit a new peak of almost 38,000 units, setting a record for the eighth year in a row (2010-2018).

However, findings from the World Robotics Report 2018 showed that in 2017, China saw the largest growth in demand for industrial robots, up 58%.

There are five major markets representing 73% of the total global sales volume in 2017: China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the US and Germany.

Overall, global sales of industrial robots reached a new record of 380,550 units, which counts for an increase of 29% compared to the previous year (294,300 units).

Countries with the highest robot density:

Republic of Korea (710); Singapore (658); Germany (322); Japan (308); Sweden (240); Denmark (230) and the US (200).

Demand for automation increases

Since 2010, the demand for industrial robots has accelerated considerably due to the ongoing trend toward automation and continued innovative technical improvements in industrial robots.

Broken down by industry, the automotive industry continues to lead global demand for industrial robots: In 2017, around 125,200 units were sold in this segment – equivalent to growth of 21%.

The strongest growth sectors in 2017 were the metal industry (+54%), the electrical/electronics industry (+27%) and the food industry (+19%).

In terms of sales volume, Asia has the strongest individual markets: China installed around 138,000 industrial robots in 2017, followed by South Korea with around 40,000 units and Japan with around 38,000 units.