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vdma article

German robotics and automation market set for sales of $15 billion this year

vdma article

The German robotics and automation market is forecast to grow by 7 per cent this year compared with last year, with sales volume projected to reach a massive $15 billion. 

Germany is one of the world’s leading buyers of industrial robotics and automation systems, and purchased approximately $14 billion worth in 2016.

These are figures which German engineering association VDMA has suggested as a result of its research into the market. 

The VDMA says the sales volume of the three main segments – robotics, integrated assembly solutions and industrial image processing – has doubled from $7 billion in 2009 to $14 billion in 2016.

For 2017, the VDMA expects a record turnover volume of €15.2 billion for robotics and automation systems.

The nation’s huge engineering and manufacturing sector is responsible for the overwhelming majority of the purchases.

The country also looks set to sell more robots than ever, particularly after the tie-up between Kuka, Germany’s largest robot maker, and Midea, one of China’s leading manufacturers of household appliances.

Midea bought the majority of share in Kuka and together the two companies are preparing to launch products in entirely new markets, such as home robots.

Norbert Stein, CEO of VDMA robotics and automation, says: “In the global race to modernize the industry, market players from Germany benefit from a robust economy. Our industry is looking to the future with optimism.”

Foreign business remains strong, says the VDMA, with export sales increasing by almost 9 percent.

Domestic business, meanwhile, remains at “record levels”, says VDMA.

The German market remains the largest individual market with a turnover share of 43 per cent.

In international sales, Europe is the largest growth driver with a share of 30 per cent, China with 10 per cent, and North America with 9 per cent.

The export share of German robotics and automation rises to 57 percent.

The largest sub-sector of German robotics and automation remains the integrated assembly solutions, which is also known as intelligent assembly and production solutions.

Here, sales rose by 2 percent to $7.8 billion. Domestic business increased by 3 per cent and exports by 1 per cent. With a sales share of 69 percent, the automotive industry is the number-one among system sales.

For 2017, the VDMA forecasts a 6 per cent increase in sales to the new record of $8.2 billion.

At $4 billion, German robotics generated a sales increase of 8 percent compared with the previous year and reached a new peak.

According to the latest figures of the World Federation of Robotics, Germany is the world’s fifth-largest supplier of industrial robots, with 189,400 units installed worldwide. Production has increased in this sector by 21 percent, says the International Federation of Robotics.

For 2017, the VDMA forecasts a sales increase of up to 8 percent to more than $4.2 billion.

Industrial image processing followed the record with sales up 9 percent. Domestic business rose by 3 per cent and foreign business by 14 per cent. The VDMA forecast expects a turnover of 10 percent for 2017.