With global demand growing and the emphasis on energy efficiency rising, the move towards automated welding is inevitable, says analysts at Frost and Sullivan.
A new report, Global Welding Robotics Fact Book, reveals an increase in the use of welding robots over manual welding methods due to its consistency and repeatability in developed economies like North American and Europe.
According to the report, the market earned revenues of US$2.44bn in 2014, with this figure estimated to reach US$3.38bn in 2020.
Frost and Sullivan says while demand from the automotive and transportation industry will be robust, the electronics, heavy machinery and construction industries are also contributing to market growth.
“Strong demand from industries in Europe will drive the demand for arc and resistance welding robots,” said Guru Mahesh, industrial automation and process control research analyst, Frost and Sullivan. “The introduction of new materials such as composites and carbon fibres in industrial processes will further widen the scope for use of robots in handling, cutting and welding.”
Despite an established presence in developed economies, Frost and Sullivan says a lack of awareness among end users and preference for low-cost solutions hinder adoption in Asian countries such as India and China.
In addition, the availability of cheap manual labour restricts the demand for welding robotics in these regions.
“Vendors are working on increasing awareness on the various benefits of welding robots, including higher efficiency, repeatability and reliability,” added Mr Mahesh. “Conducting training and demonstrations through fairs and workshops will set the ball rolling for large-scale uptake of robotic welding across the globe.”
According to the report, the untapped potential makes markets such as Russia, India, China and Southeast Asia attractive for vendors of welding robotics.
Going forward, Middle East and Africa, India and China are expected to be high-growth regions. Asia-Pacific will see increased demand from non-automotive industries such as metals, machinery and electricals and electronics.