Nov 25, 2015 (China Knowledge) - China has completed the draft guidance on its industrial robot industry for the coming five years, as part of its push to boost industrial efficiency and innovation, as well as ease the pain of a labor shortage and rising labor costs.
Under the draft guidance, the country will see 150,000 units of industrial robots sold each year by 2020, with robots in service reaching 800,000 units.
Analysts forecast that China's robot industry will generate an annual output value of more than RMB 100 billion by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
China, the world's second largest economy, has become an engine of growth for the global automated technology industry. It overtook Japan as the world's largest industrial robot market in 2013, according to statistics released by the International Federation of Robotics or IFR. And it remained the largest market destination for industrial robots in 2014, with around 56,000 units sold in the country, up 54% from the previous year.
Yet, the density of robots in China's manufacturing plants (23 units for 10,000 workers) is still less than half of the world average, and the rate is only one eighth of that in developed countries.
Sniffing opportunity from China automation boom, major global robot-makers have been rubbing their hands to capture a major foothold in the flourishing market.
Swiss automation technology group ABB, the first multinational company to manufacture industrial robots in China, saw both its order intake value and sales revenue of ABB (China) surpass US$ 5.8 billion in 2014, hitting a record high, and the cumulative investment of the firm hit nearly US$ 1.9 billion in China.