Robotics is a growing industry, but “growing” doesn’t really tell the whole story. Booming is much more fitting way to put it. A recent Fortune article took a look at the rapidly growing robot market. Although it was primarily focused on the financial aspects of a continuously improving robot industry, it did touch on some important information regarding the technology of the industry itself.
It’s projected that by 2020, the robot market will collectively be valued at $83 billion. Last year, the value of the robot market was $32 billion. It’s truly incredible for an industry to more than double in just a little over 5 years, but the momentum in robotics is not surprising, and it’s not likely to slow down any time soon.
There are several important factors driving the robot industry boom.
Robots are cheaper and better. Sometimes companies will lower costs by compromising quality. Sometimes they improve goods, products, or services, and the price goes up as a result. Robots, however, are not only getting better, they are also getting cheaper. The article points out that an automated welding robot could cost $182,000 in 2005. Today, comparable robots cost $50,000 less. Today’s robots are more affordable, and more capable.
It’s no coincidence that the growth in robotics is happening simultaneously with the rise of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is about information, and effective tracking and application of data and information requires automation. Combine improved analytics and improved technologies such as chips and sensors, and the result is more advanced, more versatile, and more sophisticated robots.
Robots aren’t just being used in manufacturing anymore. We’re no longer limited to big, expensive industrial robots. Manufacturers have access to more affordable collaborative robots, and other industries are implementing robots and automation as well. Today, automation can be found on factory floors, in coffee shops, behind the wheels of cars, at service desks, and more. This is increasing the demand for robots, but it’s also redistributing jobs.
As simple jobs become automated, and the robotics industry grows, more jobs will be created in the field of robotics. Automation is the future, but it’s nothing new. Indramat motion control systems have been around for decades.