IFR press release

Statements of CEOs of important robot suppliers

World Robotics 2011 published

1 September 2011

Arturo Baroncelli

IFR Vice President

COMAU, Italy

Even if robotics industry may sometimes suffer from a sudden economic downturn, the thrusts intimately connected with its technological and market development will continue to drive its progress towards innovative applications in traditional and new fields. Many facts may sustain this statement, such as cost effectiveness of proven technical practices in industries where robots are well established (i.e. automotive),  sound improvements in product performances and availability, impressive levels of research at Universities, the unexplored market and technical frontiers of Service Robotics, the opportunities in segments where industrial robot has not fully expressed its potential ( i.e. SME)

John Dulchinos

IFR Board Member

CEO, Adept, USA

The robust growth in the robotics market around the world is strong validation of the economic value robots provide to customers in diverse applications and industries. With the latest technological advancements the value proposition for robotics has never been better, affording customers both small and large, improvements in quality and productivity that allow them to remain competitive in the fast paced global economy.

Per Vegard Nerseth
Head of ABB Robotics

The recovery of the global industrial robot market in 2010 was nothing less than remarkable; and we continue to see increased interest and very strong growth across all sectors. Automotive industries are starting to reinvest, and when combined with the increased uptake in growth segments, such as electronics, solar and food and beverage, 2011 promises to be a record breaking year for the robotics industry.

Dr. Hans Schumacher
President & CEO
Dürr Systems, Germany

Up to August 2011, incoming orders of our painting and sealing robots doubled compared to the same period in 2010. The automobile industry is investing on a broader geographical scale again. Large orders are coming from the Emerging Markets. Demand for production equipment has also picked up in North America.

We still see potential in automation of all paint volumes in the mass production of automobile bodies and in the replacement of manual labour in interior painting and seam sealing. Material savings, quality improvement, consistent quality and lower labour costs are the motivation.

Manfred Gundel

IFR Board Member
CEO KUKA Roboter

Automation solutions are becoming ever more flexible and individual and therefore increasingly suitable for a wide range of industries. Beside Automotive, there is an enormous potential for robot applications in General Industries. New materials such as CRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastics) and new multi-material composites are opening up innovative fields of application in stitching, braiding, bonding and handling of all kinds of fibers. And this is only the beginning.

Olaf Gehrels
CEO Fanuc Robotics Europe

The demand for robots in 2011 will continue. General industry and the automotive industry are equally responsible for this growth which is driven by a strong demand from all the European markets, the Americas, as well as Asia, particularly China. Demand is mostly concentrated in the handling and assembly applications within the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and the electronics industry. Based on our estimations, the worldwide demand will be 15% over the available capacities. Consequently, FANUC is doubling production capacities in Japan. As of February 2012, we will be able to produce 5,000 robots per month.

Enrico Krog Iversen
CEO Universal Robots

The number of robots will continue to increase strongly and their use becomes an equally natural way to save money for companies as outsourcing of jobs has been so far. The growth is due to the fact that the price of robots has fallen and robots have become smaller and easier to handle. The technology has simply become much more accessible. I am convinced that any company with more than six employees can create economically feasible automation. There is still great potential for automation in most industries.

Dr. Peter Neumann
CEO ENGEL Holding GmbH

Markets with high-technology products and high wage levels depend on automation technology to remain competitive in the long term. Thus, countries with high wage levels in particular will see continuous growth in the demand for robots and complex automation solutions. At the same time, the level of automation in the field of high quality products is rapidly increasing in Asia. Automation in plastics processing is increasingly becoming a part of the integrated process that not only reduces costs, but secures benefits in terms of process technology. A holistic control and operation philosophy from the injection moulding machine through to automation removes the need for interfaces, reduces error potential and substantially improves the productivity of the production system.


Do you still have questions? Gudrun Litzenberger, IFR Statistical Department, Telephone +49 69 66 03-1502 is ready to answer.


World Robotics 2011 Industrial Robots and Service Robots can be ordered at www.worldrobotics.org



obobitcs - Industrial Robots 2011