Machinery IndustryRobots > Robot use in sectors of machinery industry

Market survey 2022 on Industry 4.0

Robots to make mechanics more flexible ranked 6th out of 10 changes toward Industry 4.0

Quest TechnoMarketing  interviewed a representative sample of machine builders with 100 or more employees in 2022 about their changes in machine automation toward Industry 4.0, including the use of robots to make mechanics more flexible.

July 21st, 2023 - One-third of the machine builders interviewed (33%) intend to use robots on the machines to make mechanics more flexible as a change toward Industry 4.0 in 2022. These machine builders produce 44% of the machine potential of the machine builders interviewed.

This puts changes to the use of robots to make mechanics more flexible in sixth place out of the ten changes examined in machine automation in the direction of Industrie 4.0.  

Which sectors of the machinery industry are most active in using robots to make mechanics more flexible?

The first three sectors show an above-average use of robots among machine builders.

Robot use in sectors of the German machinery industry in 2022.

In four machinery sectors, robots are used on an above-average number of machines. The two sectors machine tools and packaging machines show both - above-average robot use in terms of the number of machine builders and the number of machines.  

Of course, the use of robots takes place at different stages of development.

Sporadic use of robots

Robots are installed on machines at the customer's request, i.e. sporadically, to make the mechanics more flexible. Or robots are used for the first time and only gradually. Or the robots are used for isolated tasks. This applies to 28% of the companies that want to use robots at all to make mechanics more flexible. These companies produce 22% of the machine potential.


  • "That's part of the machine when part handling can't be done via the conveyor. Then the handling is done via robots in about 10% of the cases." (Machine Tools)

  • "For example, the glass transport rack is designed as a mobile transport robot. It's a U-shaped vehicle that goes under the load to pick it up." (Conveyor)

Robot use realized in subareas

According to this development stage, robots are used for a subarea and on a regular basis. This concerns 44% of the companies which want to use robots at all for the flexibilization of the mechanics with 50% of the machine potential.

  • "Flexpickers, controlled by a camera, take tools from a toolbox and position them in the right places. 30% - 40% of machines have such robots in use." (Robotics and Automation)

  • "Robots place products in an outer carton. In addition, robots are fed unsorted different products, which group them via cameras into ordered products for final packaging. This is also being continuously developed, partly because of better vision systems." (Packaging machines)

  • "Depending on the degree of automation of the plant, a robot or a handling system specially designed by us ensures that the parts are brought to the finished parts rack or that the machine is loaded with parts. This also applies to plants that run over the weekend. Then either the robot or our own produced system is used for loading and unloading. This concerns about 30% of the cases. We have many small and medium-sized customers. They set up the machine on Friday and press the start button. Then on Monday, production is done." (Machine tools)

Robot use implemented on an overall basis

Robots are used for various sub-areas, often in conjunction with the robot's own solutions or the establishment of special robot departments or even the founding of robot companies. Often the robot must also be able to collaborate with operators. These are the aspects of this development stage. This concerns 16% of the companies, which want to use robots at all for the flexibilization of the mechanics with 24%.of the machine potential.

  • "Use of robots in the machining of large parts without mechanical devices for the machining position. People have made machining robots mobile and put them on AGVs. The AGVs are battery driven. One has even developed its own robot, "powerrace" with higher rigidity and accuracy. Such high-precision robots work as mobile machine tools." (Robotics and Automation)

  • "Many robots are used in the handling area. For the production of cutting dies, the robot removes the die from the press, weighs it and then places it on the conveyor belt for further transport. In addition, the press punches have to be cleaned at regular intervals, which is now also done by a robot with small brushes. Mainly on calibrating presses, where another pressing process takes place after the blank, up to 5-6 robots take over this task for the second step, so that about 100-130 robots are used." ( Building/Glass/Ceramic Machinery)

  • "This is our own mobile intralogistics with mobile robots." (Conveyor)