Market Effects on Automation Industry

Dr. Henrik Christensen, at Georgia Tech says, "While the last 25 years saw tremendous progress due to the Internet, the next revolution is considered to be robotics. Robotics has the potential to be a real-game changer for job growth and quality of life."

The government which has never inferred about nor uttered the word robotics at least once gave a lot of boost and feed to the same. The US President, Barrack Obama announced $70Mn in the name of Advanced Manufacturing Programme aimed at developing small scale co-working and low weight robots for factory workers, soldiers, healthcare executives etc. He also states, "This new partnership will make sure that tomorrow's breakthroughs are America's breakthroughs."

A lot of impetus like the above two instances, was suddenly observed over the lines of robotics and advanced manufacturing, which is all for a good cause. But, all is not well as one would expect after such a boost from the federal government. Though the spark was virtually lit, it never was real. The funds were cut to less than 25% of initially promised numbers quoting other governmental issues. To add to this, most of the American youth do not show much interest to take their interests forward in the field of STEM, and hence in the field of robotics. There were several issues which are explained as reasons for America's low interest in manufacturing compared to eastern countries, China, Japan and Koreas. Americans consider 'advanced industrial countries should focus on their comparative advantage in R&D, design, and distribution and leave manufacturing to less developed countries, with their large reserves of less educated, less demanding, low-wage labor.' This statement is made from one of the World's top robotics 'developers', Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology.

One of the recent articles states that 'only 3% of what you buy Is Made in China, But It's The Most Important 3%. When we (Americans) outsourced manufacturing to China and Japan and Taiwan, we may have lost something far more important than low-wage jobs. We may have lost the ability to innovate and grow.' And that is true.

Financial trends of several robotics companies from the US and the companies which settled strongly in the US show the same trend since a couple of months. Google-Finance has helped us notice who lost how much, and here is a short analysis of top most names in the World of Robotics that is based at the USA.

  • » Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) - found good business during 2010, but 2011 was uninteresting for them. Earned -22% since last year
  • » iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) - it was on a rise from 2010 till 2011, but recently lost its pace.
  • » Moog (NYSE:MOG.A) - Moog's story is almost similar to that of iRobot which recently lost its momentum because it is American!!
  • » Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV) - was on a rise since 2010 but lost greatly during recent times. Earned -22% since last 6 months ABB Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:ABB) - ABB doesn't mind its loss in the US markets as it is ubiquitous around the world. Its figures are -18% in last six months.
  • » Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) - took a big hit early this month (August, 2011), lost about 23.5% in 6 months
  • » Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (NYSE:PHG) - continuously was on a decline and lost about 39% in 6 months, last 5 days it has lost about 10%
  • » Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) - has a different story due to its most happening and critical industry sector, Healthcare. It has observed 9.52% rise since 2010, though it lost about 7.7% in last three months.
  • » Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) - takes the consistent and biggest stride down with a mighty 38% loss in its share value in last three months.
  • » General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) - although it is not an exclusive robotics manufacturer, it invests considerable share in robotics as well. It finds a best start in 2011 but lost its way during mid 2011, from where it lost about 17.8% till date.
  • Adept Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADEP) - Adept lost about 29% from last year.

Percentages mentioned in above analysis represent percentage loss or gain in share value in the American markets.

All these trends replicate the status of robotics companies that have their design centre and base at the USA.

More of such analysis to be continued...