Supply of Robots  and Technical Hurdles

Supply of Robots and Technical Hurdles

by Pininvest Analysis

Industrial Robotics on

  • 28 constituents
  • 9.9% 1y performance
  • 32.7% volatility
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On the supply side, the number of industrial robots tripled between 2010 and 2017, to an estimated 346 000 in produced 2017 and is expected to rise another 50% by 2020, to 520 000 that year

Asia dominates production, with an expected 230 000 units to ship in 2017 (115 000 of which from China), against 61 000 for Europe and 40 000 for the US & Canada

Although China has become the leading manufacturer with a 33% share of world market in 2017, the country still imports close to 70% of installed robots, highlighting the need to develop more advanced models, still delivered mainly by Japan, Germany and the US.

Another hurdle, and the focus of our selection, are the high-priced, complex components of robots, like sensors, actuators, speed reducers and control panels, mainly produced by Japanese, German and U.S. companies. Companies such as Nabtesco (one of world’s largest producers of industrial robot reducers) or Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SOHVF - hardly traded on OTC) of Japan have been expanding their manufacturing facilities in China since 2014. Most companies competing in this specialized market are privately held such as, among others, SEJIN iGB of South Korea, SPINEA of Slovakia , Redex  Group of France or in the US, with the exception of Altra Industrial Motion / Boston Gear

To match the technical sophistication of their foreign competitors and nurture the domestic robot industry, China firms will probably proceed by M&A as the (000333- Shenzhen listed) Midea $4 billion acquisition of Kuka AG , a leading German industrial robot maker (July 2017)