AsiaIndustrial NetNews: According to foreign media reports, China is advancingindustryautomation.During this process, about 800RobotVendors hope to capitalize on this trend to scale. Led by companies such as JD.com, Yixedong and Midea, China is emerging as a major force in the global robotics market.
A series of scenarios suggest that China wants to dominate the robotics market of the future. At the startup Yixedong, a humanoid Robot serves coffee to employees. The price of the industrial Robot developed by the company is 15,000 US dollars, which is about 1/3 cheaper than that of foreign brands. Such robots are widely used in automated production lines in manufacturing centers in the Pearl River Delta region.
1,900 kilometers north of Guangdong, in a laboratory of e-commerce giant JD.com in Beijing, a spider-shaped robot picks up a book from a conveyor belt and puts it in a box. The machine can sort 3,600 objects per hour, four times faster than humans. JD.com is developing several robots to automate warehouses, and this is just one of them.
JD Shanghai Logistics Base Factory
Similar to high-speed rail and renewable energy, China is fully embracing robotics. China’s economic planners have more ambitious plans to dominate emerging markets such as artificial intelligence, driverless cars and the connected home, and robots are a stepping stone to that strategy. “China used to be an efficient and fast chaser,” said Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot, a US-based robot vacuum maker. “The question now is, ‘Can they innovate?’”
On the road to developing robotics, China needs to face major powers such as Japan, South Korea, Germany and the United States. However, China has three important advantages: scale, momentum and capital.
China is the world’s fastest-growing robotics market, and China’s vast manufacturing sector is under pressure to automate. In 2013, China surpassed Japan to become the country with the largest domestic robot sales.
For example, Guangdong Province announced in 2015 that it planned to provide 943 billion yuan in subsidies to about 2,000 local companies. These include both robotics makers and auto, appliance and building materials companies willing to push for factory automation.
This presents a good opportunity for Chinese startups. “The door is open for market leadership,” said Justin Rose, a partner at the Boston Consulting Group and a manufacturing expert. “China has the power to be the leader.”
To achieve this goal, China has adopted a two-pronged strategy.
The Chinese government hopes that local industrial robot manufacturers, including Yixedong, Anhui Eft Intelligent Equipment, and Xinsong Robot Automation, will challenge powerful foreign rivals, such as Japan’s Fanuc and the United States’ Adept Technology, in this scale 110 billion-dollar market.
1 2 3 Next > page
According to Gudrun Litzenberger, secretary general of the International Robot Association, demand from Chinese companies will drive a double-digit increase in demand for factory robots.
Histogram of the market share of domestic robots changing year by year (red is domestic robots)
In 2016, 90,000 robots were newly installed in China, accounting for one-third of the world’s total, a year-on-year increase of more than 30%.
China’s goal of robotics isn’t just factory robots. Earlier this year, the local government deployed pollution-monitoring robots at Zhengzhou East Station. In addition, China’s deep-sea robot set a new record, diving 6,329 meters in the Mariana Trench in March this year.
The robot is being debugged
Currently, China is still lower than rival countries in terms of robot penetration. In 2015, China had only 49 robots per 10,000 workers, compared with 176, 301 and 531 in the US, Germany and South Korea, respectively.
Proportion of robots in 10,000 factory employees in H, De, U.S. and China
However, if China’s development and utilization of robots is successful, it will stop the trend of factories relocating overseas.
Under the “Made in China 2025” plan, as well as a five-year plan for robotics unveiled in April last year, China will drive automation in key economic sectors, including car manufacturing, electronics, home appliances, logistics and food production.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government hopes that the share of domestically produced robots in total robot sales will rise to 50% by 2020, up from 31% last year.
Robot makers and automating companies will receive preferential treatment such as subsidies, low-interest loans, tax breaks, and rent relief. “Whether it’s fair or not, you can expect Chinese companies to get a lot of preferential treatment and financial support,” said Boston Consulting Group’s Ross. “They have a comprehensive plan for that.”
For China, industrial automation is crucial. China is experiencing an aging population and its workforce is shrinking. Manufacturing wages have more than doubled over the past decade.
Li Gang, president of ABB Robotics China, said young workers in China “don’t want to do repetitive work”.
ABB is one of the first robotics companies to enter the Chinese market, with its robots used in car casing painting and electronics production lines. “Robots are hot,” Li Gang said, and local governments are investing heavily in industrial parks developing such technologies.
International giants are closely watching China’s efforts to develop robots. “They’ve invested a lot of money and energy into automation and robotics,” said John Roemisch, vice president of sales and marketing for Fanuc U.S. “There’s nothing stopping them from entering our market.”
The demand for robots in the Chinese market is already very obvious. What is uncertain, however, is whether Chinese robotics companies will have enough technology to compete in the global market. Attracted by tax incentives and cheap land, about 800 robotics companies have been established in China.
Robots on Display at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Shanghai
However, Chai Yueting, director of the National Engineering Laboratory for electronic Transaction Technology at Tsinghua University, pointed out that the problem is that some startups simply source key components from Siemens or Fanuc and assemble them into tapes.mechanicalArm robots, which were subsequently labelled with Chinese brands.
The Links: 3HNA023093-001 3HAC030923-001