Worldwide sales of industrial robots achieved a new record number of 248,000 units in 2015, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
This represents a rise of 12 percent compared to the previous year (221,000 units in 2014). According to the IRF, by 2018 there will likely be 2.3 million units deployed on factory floors – more than twice as many as in 2009.
Within the global markets, the positive sales figures are being driven by highly-automated emerging countries, and by regions that are already highly developed economically. For example, in Europe the total sales figures for industrial robots in 2015 rose by ten percent to 50,000 units compared to the previous year. The strongest individual markets are three EU countries: Germany (20,000 units), Italy (6,700 units) and Spain (3,800 units).
Growth in America is also "dynamic," explains the IRF. Sales in the U.S. increased by 15 percent in 2015 to a total of 37,000 units. The USA heads the list with 27,000 units sold. An leap forward in automation was also registered in Mexico.
In Mexico, sales more than doubled within one year to around 5,500 units due to investments made in the automotive industry, the products of which Mexico exports to the USA and South America.
"The wave of digital transformation and automation will continue to drive the robotics boom forward until 2018," said Joe Gemma, president of the International Federation of Robotics. "Revolutionary developments in IT connected with all aspects of the Internet of Things, and new networked services are changing the producing industries fundamentally. Machines, logistics and production plants are merging into integrated cyber-physical systems. The aim is to use smart factories to work more flexibly, more cost-efficiently and more productively."