IFR press release

Statements of CEOs of important robot suppliers

World Robotics 2012 - Industrial Robots published


Dr Michael Wenzel                   
CEO Reis Robotics



"In general (that means over all worldwide) there is a stable trend for further growth which will drive our industry forward. The main area for growth will be Asia, especially China which is no surprise with the growth rates and the economic potential of that country. Europe is more or less going in a kind of saturation, with the southern European countries even on a decline.

Therefore it becomes evident that the robotic market more and more becomes a worldwide business with local characteristics in the individual areas. Some emerging markets like India however cannot yet contribute significantly to the overall numbers despite the fact that they show strong growth rates."

Olaf Gehrels, President
Fanuc Robotics Europe


"The automotive industry will continue to be one of the key drivers for innovation in the robotics industry. The strict targets for energy and CO2 emission reduction boost the demand for new robot based technologies including highly automated production and assembly processes. This applies to both Bodyshop and Powertrain applications, and here equally to the traditional combustion engines as well as the hybrid and fully-electric battery driven vehicles. We are committed to continuously expand our intelligent robot range for meeting those growing demands."

Jeff Burnstein, President
Robotics Industries
Association, USA


"The growth of the robotics industry shows that the demand for increased quality, productivity, and flexibility is spreading to companies of all sizes in every industry throughout the world. Robots are unique in their ability to help companies achieve these goals while also helping reduce overall manufacturing costs.  We expect to see continued growth in robotics in the short and long term."

Yoshikatsu Minami
Director Robotics Division
YASKAWA Electric Corporation


"Originally, the automation process within the automotive and electrical/electronics industries initiated the development of industrial robots. In the meanwhile, industrial robots which were originally developed to free workers from the so called "workplace 3Ds" (Dirty, Dangerous, and Demanding) have become an indispensable presence in manufacturing. However, the future of robotics will have much more of an impact on social and environmental challenges: energy efficiency, dealing with an aging population in developed countries, safety and security, just to name a few. These challenges rather provide an opportunity to develop and present robot solutions that are sustainable and contribute to a better future for all."

Manfred Gundel, CEO
KUKA Roboter


"Even though facing already an ongoing high-level demand in the Automotive and the General Industry, there are really positive future market prospects for robot-based automation.

Robotics already benefits from global mega-trends like automation in industrialized countries and emerging markets. Beside this, sustainability, increasing wage levels and demographic changes are the future challenges. To encourage "unexperienced" small and medium-sized companies to invest in automation they need solutions which are on the one hand "easy to use" but on the other hand also flexible, fast, precise and energy-saving to ensure their increase of production on high-level quality."

Arturo Baroncelli
IFR Vice President
Director of proposal and estimating
Comau, Italy


"The evolution of Robotics Industry should become a case to be studied at Business Schools!

Some years ago Robotics started to be considered a mature sector: 50 years of history, shake out and reduction of producers, standardisationof technical solutions..

But present dynamics indicates the opposite:huge market potential in emerging markets, new applications in SME niches, the unexplored frontiers of Service Robots, the renewed strength in countries with long established tradition...

It definetely seems that the life cycle curve of Robotics Industry is still at a growth stage, with unpredictible level of further developement."

Per-Vegard Nerseth
Group Senior Vice President
Head of Business Unit
Robotics Discrete Automation & Motions Division
ABB Robotics



"Demand for flexible robotic solutions reached record highs in 2011 and this trend has continued through the first half of 2012. Although the current economic climate provides something of a mixed picture given the continuing instability in the Euro Zone and lacklustre car sales in numerous countries, the future for our industry remains very bright indeed; rising costs and an ever increasing lack of available labour in China coupled with political initiatives in Western Europe and North America aimed at driving manufacturing competitiveness all point to growing demand in the robotics industry. Furthermore, the rapid expansion of flexible robotic solutions into fast growing segments such as Consumer Electronics is further proof that this is an extremely exciting time to be part of our industry."