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Latest IFR Stats Show Strong Post-Pandemic Robotic Demand in 2021

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) published the ‘World Robotics Report 2022’ in Oct. The report shows that global annual installations of industrial robots hit an all-time high at 517,385 units in 2021, beating the previous high set in 2018 by 22% and this also represents a year-over-year growth rate of 31% against 2020 which was obviously ravaged by Covid. As a result, at the end of 2021, a record 3.5 million industrial robots were operating day and night around the globe.

The IFR pointed out that the speed of annual robot installations has more than doubled within six years. Regarding geography, China is undergoing robotization and remains the primary growth driver of the sector. It saw its installed base jump by over 50% in 2021. To fight against labour shortage issues, Japan, Europe and America have all scrambled to install more industrial robots, as well and these regions saw their installed base rise by 22-31% in the same period.

The energy crisis, cost inflation and shortage of labour and electronic components have posed many challenges to the global manufacturing industry and economy over the last few years.

This bodes well for further growth in industrial robotics. According to IFR, global annual installations of industrial robots are expected to grow by another 10% to close to 570,000 units in 2022. Thereafter, the industry should maintain a medium to upper single-digit CAGR in 2022-25.


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