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Use of robots increasing in the German machinery industry 2011

Which movement shows up in the sectors of the machinery industry in regard to the use of robots in 2011? Do the changes refer to the current or to the first use of robots? Which picture do the individual sectors show? This based on a Quest study accomplished early in 2011. At the end of 2011 Quest TechnoMarketing carried out a comprehensive study to the use of robots until 2014.

19% are changing the use of robots

June 27th, 2011 - 19% of the investigated machine-builders intend to change the use of robots this year - nearly each fifth machine-builder.

These changes take place in nine of ten investigated sectors of the machinery industry. So the use of robots at the machines is getting the character of a trend.

Changes in 5 sectors are above average

The first five sectors in the diagram to machine tools included show portions of changes in the robot use that are above the average of 19%. (Robotics + automation is only considered with mounting and handling machines).

Each bar shows the partitioning whether the changes refer to the first or the current use of robots.

Robots - increasing use in sectors of the machinery industry 2011

Changes in the use of robots in sectors of the machinery industry 2011

3 sectors are focusing on first use

Sectors, with first use of robots in the foreground of the changes, are rubber/plastics machines, food processing machines and printing/paper handling machines.

  • „Due to other requirements formerly manual operations are substituted by robots, 3 robot at 3 machines.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)
  • „It is about a new development that is still uncharted waters in our sector. Up to now it was manually proceeded at this point.“ (Food processing machines)
  • „For the first time one presented a machine with robots on a fair in Japan.“ (Printing/paper handling machines)

Sectors with robots are expanding use

Users and first users changing the use of robots in the machinery industry 2011

Experienced users are expanding the use of robots:

  • „Depending on application we have been using robots for longer time, so robots are not new for us. About 5 robots could be used at 5 machines per year. Different things are solved by robots but usually manual operations are substituted.“ (Food processing machines)
  • „In the tendency the use of robots is rising. However, it must make sense technologically to use more robots. The robots’ use per system strongly fluctuates with the cycle time of the system.“ (Robotics + automation, 30 robots at 510 machines)
  • „One identifies a trend in the sector to use robots for complex handling functions. One will expand the robot use from currently one to five robots per year. This trend to robots is not arrived yet with all control system manufacturers…“ (Machine tools)

Representative character of the survey

This article is based on the Quest study "What the machine-builders want to change in the automation technology 2011". Scarcely 250 machine-builders with 100 and more employees in the 10 automation-relevant sectors (proportion of 38%) called their planning in regard to robots for 2011 at the beginning of this year.


More information about this market survey on the website of Quest TechnoMarketing, Bochum, London.


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