According to a recent report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), Japan is the world leader in the manufacture of industrial robots, accounting for 52% of global supply.
Results from the IFR, released ahead of the International Robotic Exhibition (iREX) held in Tokyo, show that the production capacity of Japanese suppliers reached 153,000 units in 2016 - the highest level ever recorded.
Of these, 116,000 were exported for a total value of approximately $2.7bn, with North America, China, Korea and Europe being the export destinations.
“Japan is a highly robotised country where even robots are assembled by robots”, said Joe Gemma, President of the IFR. “The statistics show that automation strongly boosts exports and domestic investments as well - robot sales in Japan increased by 10 percent to about 39,000 units in 2016 - reaching the highest level in the last ten years.”
As a whole, the domestic Japanese industry has maintained a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% through the period 2011 to 2016, with industrial robots having become increasingly popular within the automotive, handling operations, welding and electronics sectors.
Looking forward, the IFR gives its outlook for 2020, estimating that there will be an increase of 10% in domestic installations this year alone, with a further annual increase of 5% between 2018 and 2020.