IFR press release

The demand for industrial robots will further increase in 2011

2010 was again one of the most successful years for robotics

Frankfurt, 14 February 2011 - "The robotics industry is looking back to one of its most successful years and is looking ahead with confidence to 2011," commented Åke Lindqvist, IFR President, based on the results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics on Industrial Robots on Monday in Frankfurt. "In all regions the investments in automation surged after the economic downturn in 2009!"

Global Robotics Industry shipments Based on the results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics the IFR estimates that in 2010, sales of industrial robots doubled to about 120,000 units compared to 2009. This would be again a new peak level. The automotive industry, the metal industry and the electronics industry were the main drivers of the strong recovery in all regions.

The prospects for 2011 are promising. Many projects for automation are announced in the automotive sector and other industries. The strongly growing consumer markets in Southeast Asia, India, Brazil and also Russia and environmental regulations are pushing investments in new production sites as well as in renovation of the existing ones. The high order volumes make a further increase of robot sales of about 10% possible in 2011. Robots of today are more flexible and easier to use. Their technical improvements meet the growing demand for the high mix low volume production. More applications are possible since the robot is able to cooperate and assist the worker directly. Therefore between 2012 and 2014 a further increase of worldwide robot installations can be expected.


"The recovery has been remarkable" stated Per Vegard Nerseth, Head of ABB Robotics' global operations. "Who would have dared to forecast back in the summer of 2009 that 2010 would be a record breaking year in sales of industrial robots. I think that took the whole of the industry by surprise. The really exciting news is that the trend looks like continuing in to 2011 and beyond. Automotive demand is back strongly and when combined with the growth in selected non-automotive industries, like Food & Beverage and Electrical Consumer goods, it looks like manufactures are really waking up to the fact  that robot-based automation can create real competitive advantage and deliver tangible bottom line results."


Olaf Gehrels, CEO FANUC Robotics Europe:

2010 - a year of recovery and preparation for new levels of investment in European production! Companies coming through the crisis in 2009 energetically put their attention to automating processes to bring better competitiveness to their business. FANUC Robotics stood in the center of the recovery in 2010, not only in the traditional sectors, which were slower to respond, but particularly in the very strong food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. The release of significant projects in the Automotive industry generated a 30% growth, particularly in the second half of the year. FANUC ROBOTICS expects the significant progress to continue throughout 2011 in all areas.


Manfred Gundel, CEO KUKA Roboter:

Regarding robot shipments KUKA experienced record growth rates in all regions, headed by Asia. In 2010 automotive industry was a main driver of the market growth, but also all other industrial sectors showed two digit growth rates. I am confident robot sales in 2011 will even exceed the good 2010 numbers and the demand for robotics is going to reach a new all time height.


Arturo Baroncelli, Sales and Marketing Manager, COMAU, Italy:

"The Italian market, in year 2010, has nearly reached the volume of 2008. For 2011 Comau expects a further increase of sales both in national and international level."


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