R&D Spending Expected to Spike in Robotics Industry Until 2020

Report points to growing demand for patents, lower costs and interest in non-automotive applications.

As Chinese companies move to expand their market share in industrial robotics, so too are companies in the West, with some of the biggest power-plays coming from R&D departments.

A recent report by Technavio predicts that global R&D spending in the robotics industry will grow at a CAGR of more than 17 percent between 2016-2020.

Technavio analysts cite the following factors as key drivers in the growth of R&D spending:

  • A race for robotics patents
  • Demand for lower system engineering and installation costs
  • Growing demand for industrial robots from non-automotive industries

The report’s analysis considers market trends across user segments including: defense, healthcare, automotive, domestic, food and beverage, electricals, electronics, oil and gas, textiles and packaging.

“Since 2003, R&D investments in robotics have tripled the number of published robotics patents,” said Bharath Kanniappan, lead analyst at Technavio.

According to Technavio, the global count for published patents in robotics and autonomous machines passed the 5,000 mark in 2013. About 120,000 robotics patents have been cleared worldwide over the last two decades.

Japan is currently listed as the leading country for robotics patents with 31 percent of the total published. The US claims second place with 19 percent, followed by Germany at 17 percent, China at 10 percent, Korea at 9 percent, France at 3 percent and the UK at 2 percent.

Lower System Engineering and Installation Costs and Non-Automotive Demand

The report states that systems engineering, services and installations account for more than 75 percent of the overall cost of robotic systems.

Technavio states that OEMs and third-party vendors which sell generic software packages in addition to providing servicing and integration are vital to manufacturers looking to incorporate robots in production lines. However, the high costs of their systems engineering acts as a barrier to entry for many manufacturers.

Software like RoboDK, an offline programming software for robots from multiple vendors, including ABB, FANUC and KUKA, may be the answer to overcome this barrier.

The global demand for industrial robots is growing at a rate of 28-35 percent since 2012, Technavio reports. Analysts expect this growth to have a similar effect on the food and beverage industry during the forecast period.

“The automotive industry was among the first to use industrial robots,” said Bharath. “However, of late, such robots have gained momentum in non-automotive industries such as food and beverage, electricals and electronics.”

Technavio’s report also covers:

  • Market Size and Growth Rate in 2020
  • Key factors driving the global R&D spending in the robotics industry
  • Key market trends impacting the growth of R&D spending in the robotics industry
  • Challenges to market growth
  • Key vendors in the market space
  • Market opportunities and threats faced by vendors in the robotics industry
  • Trending factors influencing the market shares of the Americas, APAC and EMEA

For more information, visit www.technavio.com