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Robotics set to change the game

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Robotics has been identified by International Data Corporate (IDC) as one of six innovation accelerators that will drive digital transformation by opening new revenue streams and changing the way work is performed.
The growth in robotic adoption is being driven mainly by increasing labour costs, shortage of skilled labors, declining prices of robotic systems, and by strategic national initiatives like Industry 4.0 for instance.
In the new Worldwide Commercial Robotics Spending Guide, IDC forecasts the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) spending on robotics and related services to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% from nearly $14,6-billion in 2015 to $23,8-billion in 2019. Manufacturing (share of 65,7% in 2015) and resource industries (share of 8,7% in 2015) are, and will remain, the two biggest verticals for robotics spending over the forecast period.
“Robotics is one of the core technologies that is reshaping manufacturing operations and supply chains,” says Martin Kuban, senior research analyst at IDC Manufacturing Insights. “Owing to the recent improvements in intelligence of robots, higher availability of robotic-specific applications, and more robust connectivity platforms, which make it easier to integrate robots into work environments and to collaborate with humans, we are now seeing robotic technologies dynamically expanding outside Manufacturing in sectors like Resource Industries, Healthcare, Transportation, Government and even to the consumer world.”
This recent robotics spending forecast highlights important information for the EMEA region: on the one side, Western Europe represents the second largest market worldwide. On the other side, CEE will grow faster than Western Europe, and thus it could continue to close the productivity gap.
“In particular, Western Europe will see an increase in the Healthcare sector, which will replace the Resource Industries sector in 2019 as the second largest market after Manufacturing, growing at the fastest rate among the biggest industries. The CEE trend will see Resource Industries keeping the pace, remaining the second largest market,” says Carla La Croce, research analyst at IDC European Industry Solutions.
From a global perspective, the Asia/Pacific region including Japan accounts for more than 65% of total robotics spending throughout the forecast. EMEA is the second largest region with expenditures of $14,6-billion in 2015, followed by the Americas with 2015 spending totals of $9,7-billion. Robotics spending will nearly double in Asia/Pacific over the 2015-2019 forecast period, making it the fastest growing region.
The new spending guide measures purchases of robotic systems, system hardware, software, robotics-related services, and after-market robotics hardware on a regional level across thirteen key industries and fifty-two use cases.
The robotics systems, which include consumer, industrial, and service robots, is the biggest component of the robotics spending and it is forecast to grow to nearly $6,5-billion in EMEA in 2019.
“I believe the service robots have applicability in nearly all industries. They will offer many new opportunities on the market. Also, seeing the interest in consumer robots is heating up, these two segments will get the highest attention and will likely develop very dynamically in coming years,” says Kuban.