Confirmation that Universal Robots dominates the cobot market, if any were needed, comes from a new report entitled The Future of Collaborative Robots published by Interact Analysis.
In 2017, UR cobots enjoyed a near 50% share of global revenues and no other manufacturer in the market had a share above 10%.
The order of who came next in terms of market share was as follows: FANUC, Techman, Rethink Robotics, AUBO, ABB, Kawasaki, KUKA, Yaskawa, Precise Automation, Siasun and Staubli.
The report also revealed that 30% of robots forecast to be sold in 2027 will be cobots and that the largest application for cobots over the next five years, some 75%, will be pick and place, material handling and assembly.
Generally, the report concluded that the cobot industry was worth less than $400m last year, but is set to grow to nearly $600m in 2018.
What’s more, growth is forecast to accelerate due to the wider availability of collaborative robots from mainstream industrial robot vendors, the greater awareness at SMEs, and the wider adoption by major OEMs.
Which leads to the forecast that by 2027, revenues will reach $7.5bn and account for 29% of the industrial robot market.
The diverse numbers industry and applications adopting collaborative robots is likely to continue, but, in a way that mirrors the evolution seen with industrial robots, with electronics and automotive being the two largest vertical applications.
In terms of payload, although 5kg has been the sweet spot for collaborative robots, several products have been launched above and below this weight category. A number of products are targeted at pick and place and assembly applications below 1kg, which are designed to efficiently undertake repetitive tasks.