Jul 25, 2019 (China Knowledge) - According to Marketing Intelligence Resource, a research firm specializing in industrial products, China's investment in smart manufacturing in 2018 surged to RMB 69.6 bln, or USD 10 bln. Smart manufacturing employs such technologies as robotics and automation increase productivity and reduce labor costs.
"Made in China 2025", a plan to make the country's robotics industry to be more self-sufficient, and aims for big strive in its development. The share of domestically made industrial robots is expected to reach 70% by 2025 from 30% in the 2017.
China has huge demand for advanced robotics. It is swapping low cost, labor intensive jobs with high-tech robots after decades-long economic ascent as the "workshop of the world". China is world's largest market for industrial robots and accounts for more than 30% of global sales, according to the International Federation of Robotics.
Chinese factories rely heavily on foreign robot makers that include Japan's Fanuc and Yasukawa Electric, and Swiss’s ABB. These foreign companies currently control over 60% of the Chinese market for industrial robots.
Over the last few years many domestic manufacturers with competitive technologies have emerged, such as Siasun, which develops robots on par with those of Japanese and European manufacturers. Some local startups focus on low-priced industrial robots for smaller factories.
Lacking access to advanced technology and the expertise to make key components, China may be distance from achieving the 70% domestic production target called for under Made in China 2025.
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