According to a new report from the International Federation of Robotics, Japan is the world´s number one industrial robot manufacturer, delivering 45% of the global supply. The country’s robot producers have increased significantly, with their export ratio rising to 78% in 2020 when 136,069 industrial robots were shipped.
36% of the Japanese exports of robotics and automation technology were sent to China. Many of these manufacturers also have factories set up on the Chinese mainland, which proved to be a massive advantage during the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. These manufacturers could maintain some level of production and be set up to benefit extremely well from the rebound China experienced in the second half of 2020.
The other major market for Japanese robotics is the U.S., which makes up 22% of its market share. Just like China, many expect the U.S. to begin bouncing back soon from the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will drive up manufacturing, and in turn, the need for manufacturing robots.
Robots have played an increasing role in manufacturing, as more and more manufacturers switch over to automation. This has become especially noticeable during the pandemic, as many companies had to temporarily or permanently close their doors due to lockdown restrictions which limited the number of employees they could have working at one time.
There’s also the ongoing labor shortage for manufacturing, which has been exemplified by the pandemic. Bringing in specialty robots can help manufacturers make up for a lack of finely-trained employees.