The world's demand for industrial robots has soared, and Japanese manufacturers are actively deploying
According to a report by Toyo Economic Online, Zenji Inaba, chairman of FANUC, a large-scale industrial robot manufacturer, said with deep feeling: 'The orders for robots are very active now, and the demand in various regions is very strong.' Industrial robots, which are indispensable for factory automation, are in great demand in automobile factories centered in the United States and China. In addition, in all other industries, it will be used more in the future as a solution to rising labor costs and shortage of manpower. FANUC builds a new factory in Japan According to the news released by the Japan Robot Industry Association, the shipment of robots in the third quarter of 2016 (July-September) was 37,680 units, surpassing the same period last year for the 13th consecutive quarter. Shipments hit an all-time high. The International Federation of Robotics expects world robot shipments to increase by 60% over the next four years. FANUC is now producing 5,000 robots per month. In recent months, orders have even exceeded production capacity. The factory is extremely busy. As a result, the company announced a production increase plan in October, converting part of the Tsukuba plant that produces small construction machinery to the production of robots by April 2017. Production capacity is expected to increase by 20%, with a monthly output of 6,000 units. In addition, the land adjacent to the Tsukuba factory has been acquired for about 5.5 billion yen, and a robot factory will be built as needed. The reason for FANUC to increase production capacity is not only 'automation fever'. Previous large customers were Japanese and American automakers, and now business opportunities in Europe are growing. In Europe, there are ABB in Switzerland and KUKA in Germany, which are two of the world's top players that can be compared with FANUC. Inaba Zenji said that we have established contacts with German manufacturers such as Volkswagen, and car manufacturers have also opened doors for us. After establishing contact with one of them, the promotion will be very fast. The next target is European car manufacturers Yaskawa Electric, which is looking for business opportunities in Europe, competes with FANUC in robotics. The company announced in October that it would spend 3 billion yen to build a robot factory in Slovenia, with plans to start production in September 2018 and produce 300 units per month. Murakami, an executive at the company, said on Tuesday that there is a sufficient market there, and the first step is to strengthen the production system for cars. Robot demand is not limited to cars. Kawasaki Heavy Industries has invested about 10 billion yen in Japan and plans to increase the production capacity of cleaning robots for semiconductor production to 1.6 times. Kawasaki Heavy Industries has a 50% market share in the world for this product, and they are poised to take advantage of the increased demand for semiconductors due to the development of IoT technology. In addition, the company is building a factory in Chongqing, China, and has started producing robots that can be used for delicate tasks such as food manufacturing and electronic component assembly. A large bearing manufacturer, Fujikoshi Corporation, which has been engaged in robot production for many years, recently decided to convert its central business into robots. The company will not only produce robots for automobiles, but also general-purpose products that can handle various fields such as motors and industrial machinery. It also plans to open 10 business bases in Japan, China, Europe and the United States in the next six months. The regions and industries that require robots are gradually expanding. As Zenji Inaba, president of FANUC, said, 'Robotics will have the highest growth rate in our business in the future.' The strong investment and production increase of robot manufacturers will continue.