Robotics, or robotic process automation (RPA), is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software, or a ‘robot’, to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems. Automation is key to improving productivity in robotics. As countries and companies attempt to recover from the pandemic, interest in robotics will increase.
Robotics is a fast-growing industry. According to GlobalData forecasts, it will have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% during 2021-2030. GlobalData expects every segment of the robotics market to grow over the next decade. Industrial robots will function as a growth driver as innovation in the segment will spill over to other areas.
However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.
According to GlobalData’s thematic research report, Robotics, leading adopters include: ABB, FANUC, Kawasaki, Midea (KUKA), Rockwell Automation, Teradyne and Yaskawa.
Insights from top ranked companies
Teradyne makes automation equipment for testing semiconductors and industrial applications, counting Qualcomm, Samsung, and IBM among its customers for automatic test systems. In 2015, it acquired co-bot pioneer Universal Robots for $285m. Universal Robot’s safe, easily programmable, and versatile six-axis, single-arm robots had established a strong leadership position in the nascent co-bot market, and the acquisition gave Teradyne a strong position in a rapidly growing market. Teradyne has continued to grow its industrial automation business with the purchases of Energid and MiR in 2018. With a historical presence in semiconductors and industrial applications, Teradyne has acquired its way into the industrial co-bots market and is now a key player.
FANUC is one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers. It has a production capacity of 11,000 units and, in 2021, it produced its 750,000th robot. The company’s sales were initially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but rebounded quickly. FANUC uses sensors, analytics, and the cloud to provide a continuous service to its customers by anticipating equipment and process problems and organising the automatic replacement of parts. The company works closely with Cisco, Rockwell Automation, and the Japanese AI start-up Preferred Networks to deliver and upgrade this service, which started as a pilot project in 2014 involving GM factories. Like all its peers, FANUC has been developing co-bots and may become a force in that segment (FANUC acquired co-bot manufacturer Life Robotics in February 2018). Until 2015, FANUC, operating from its Mount Fuji base, was just about the most secretive company in the world. However, spurred by activist investor Dan Loeb and pressured by the Japanese government to become more investor-friendly, FANUC opened up. FANUC faces two medium-term threats: one from Chinese rivals Estun and Siasun, and the other from cloud robotics provided by the likes of Amazon, Alibaba, Google, and IBM.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics.
- Rockwell Automation
- Emerson Electric
- Tata Consultancy Services
- Intuitive Surgical
- Harmonic Drive
- Roper Technologies
- Yokogawa Electric