Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Kuka expects to double its business to more than $1 billion through Midea’s China connections

Industrial robot maker Kuka is forecasting sales of more than $1.24 billion in China by 2020, which would be more than double the volume of business it currently does in the country. 

This is according to a report on the South China Morning Post website, which adds that Kuka is looking to make the most of parent company Midea’s China connections.

Kuka reported global sales of $4.3 billion worldwide for 2017, and currently does approximately $558 million worth of business in mainland China now. 

But with Midea’s massive manufacturing network, these figures are almost certain to increase.

Midea is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of household appliances – washing machines, dishwashers and so on.

The Chinese company bought a controlling stake in German firm Kuka for approximately $6.2 billion last year.

Now, the two companies have been looking at a variety of robotics sectors beyond industrial – such as service robots, logistics and medical.

As quoted on SCMP, Wilfried Eberhardt, chief marketing officer of Kuka, said: “We will not be limited to the field of manufacturing. Robotics will become important parts of logistics, medical care and even smart home.”

Meanwhile, Midea also seems to be deepening its interest in deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence.

Recently, the Midea Global AI Team launched what it calls the “Midea Brain”, which is a peta-scale, high-density, distributed, heterogeneous deep learning platform.

The company says the initiative showcases Midea’s “determination and investment in its AI-driven transformation”.