IFR press release

President´s Report

Åke Lindqvist, IFR-PresidentDear members,

The future of Robotics! How will the robotics industry go on after the dramatic downturn in 2009?

The results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics on Shipments of Industrial Robots show that the number of shipped robot units worldwide slumped dramatically by about 50% in 2009 compared to 2008, which was one of the most successful years. But as of the third quarter sales figures have been slowly improving. When will we again reach the level of the most successful years 2005 to 2008? On the one hand it will depend on the worldwide economical development. But on the other hand it will depend on us, the robot suppliers.

Since spring 2009 the world economy appears to slowly recover and will hopefully continue to recover. But there is and there will be different developments in the emerging markets and in then traditional industrial countries. While output in the emerging economies is forecast to rise strongly, the recovery in the industrial countries will remain muted as a result of structural adjustments triggered by the financial crisis. These are challenging conditions!

Our customers have to tackle these challenges as well. Additionally, the ecological awareness is gaining in importance worldwide and we are faced with an aging society in the traditional industry countries. As an example, in Germany alone it is expected to be a shortage of six million skilled workers already by 2020! However, even though this sounds bad, these are chances for robotics. Robots are key components in automation, and automation is the key to stay competitive and to have a sustainable and economical production.

"The Future of Robotics" We will discuss this at the AUTOMATICA 2010 in Munich!

The IFR is organizing a press event on 9 June from 09:00 to 10:30 am in Munich. The first results of World Robotics 2010 will be presented and afterwards the CEOs of important robotics companies will discuss on "The Future of Robotics". We call it the "IFR Round Table on the Future of Robotics". The discussion will be moderated by Ken Fouhy, MM Maschinenmarkt. The shooting of the whole event as well as several clips on main statements will be provided in the IFR webcast immediately after the event.

A real public relation event for our industry! A chance to draw the attention on robots, key components of automation!

I am looking forward to meeting you in Munich!

Åke Lindqvist
IFR President