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Industry report robotics and automation 2008 to 2017

Robotics and automation – growth sector in the machinery industry for higher efficiency

The sector Robotics and Automation industry is a growth sector in German mechanical engineering with rising growth rates in the last two years 2016 and 2017. Of its four product segments the average value of assembly lines increased the most, while the average value of industrial robots is continuously decreasing.

Robotics and automation as dynamic growth sector in the German machinery industry

May 29th, 2018 - How production and sales of the sector Robotics and Automation1 developed compared to the entire machinery industry since the beginning of the world economic crisis 2008 until 2017 indicates the following chart quite clearly. The starting year 2008 is set to 100 for both the sector and the entire machinery industry representing the entire dynamics of the former.

The value of the machines2 increased by 93%, the production by 80% from 2008 to 2017. The machinery industry, however, is still fighting against stagnation as result of the world economic crisis.

Production and value of the sector robotics and automation from 2008 to 2017.

The diagram shows increasing growth rates for the years 2016 and 2017. In 2017 the value of machines in Robotics and Automation rose more strongly than their production, i.e. machines became more value-added due to more functions and higher performance. A development that also occurs with packaging machines and rubber and plastics machines.

The indices are, of course, based on real values. The value of the machines in the four product segments adds up on €6.0bn for nearly 78,000 machines in 2017.

The product segments of robotics and automation and their shares at production and value

The four product segments are coining the sector to a different extent. In 2017 35,700 items of industrial robots constitute 46% of the total number of items of the sector, while their proportional value is relatively low with 19% and a value of €1.1bn.

Production and value of robotics and automation 2017.

The 7,800 assembly lines indicate the lowest share of the pieces volume with 10% but the highest proportional value with 37% and a volume of €2.2bn.

Assembly lines and assembly automats showing rising while industrial robots and assembling machines falling average values

Combining the items of production and their value, we obtain the average value per machine in euro. This feature indicates how strongly a machine is positioned in the market.

Machines for assembly automation are rising in their average values: Related to year 2008 assembly automats by 23% to €106,897 (2017) and assembly lines by 50% to €287,022.

Average value per machine in euro in robotics and automation from 2008 to 2017.

So machines for assembly automation integrate more and more functions and increase their performance. This development is obviously occurring at the expense of the assembling machines’ functionality. The average value of assembling machines drops by 4% to €56,152.

Industrial robots do not show a trend to higher added-value. Their average value decreases by 16% to €31,819. Among the reasons there are in-house solutions of robots by those machine-builders that use robots in larger numbers of items.


Robotics and automation is one of the dynamic growth sectors in the German machinery industry. It belongs to the drivers for higher efficiency. For this purpose the market mainly implements assembly automats and assembly lines. So assembly automation is the focus for higher efficiency while industrial robots as purchased robots are showing a relative weaker position. This picture would modify itself, if the official statistics would consider in-house solutions of robots by the machine-builders.


1 The sector Robotics and Automation covers the four product segments industrial robots, assembling machines, assembly automats and assembly lines. The fifth product segment, manipulating devices, is incompletely presented in the official production statistics1, therefore it is excluded here.

2 The official statistics determines value as production, evaluated to selling prices without value added tax. So the difference to the turnover lies mainly in changes of inventories, i.e. value may be understood as turnover with good approximation.

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