Industrial robot sales set to tap demand

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CHINA’S industrial robot market has potential to generate six times the current sales over the next few years to meet booming demand from manufacturers, consumer electronics and other industries domestically, industry officials said during the 19th China International Industry Fair yesterday.

The potential has spurred China’s robot makers to catch up with international robot giants like Switzerland’s ABB and Germany’s Kuka as they benefit from government policies and huge investment on research and technology, said Liu Jinchang, researcher at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“Industrial robot has become a national strategic industry because of huge market potential and industrial upgrading,” said Liu, who estimated China’s industrial robot market to grow by six times within several years.

In China, the ratio is 49 robots to 10,000 industry workers on average, while in South Korea it is 531, in Japan 305 and in Germany 301, according to the ministry.

Zhejiang Qianjiang Robot Co announced at the industrial fair that it has secured a contract for 1,500 industrial robots from Chinese manufacturing firms, which will “upgrade their facilties to digital factories”, said Zhou Wenbiao, vice general manager of Qianjiang Robot.

By July, 70,000 robots have been sold in China’s industrial market and sales are expected to hit 100,000 units for the whole of 2017, a rise of 10 times from five years ago, said Liu.

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