Automotive Industry Driving Robotics in India

India’s automotive industry is the biggest driver of increased use of robotic machines in car production, latest figures reveal.

A report published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) suggests that the sales of industrial robots rose by 30% in 2017 with 3,412 new units installed compared to 2,627 units in the previous year. Between 2012 and 2017 India saw a compound annual sales growth rate of 18%. Analysis of industry demand revealed that India´s automotive sector was the main end user with a share of 62% of the total supply in 2017.

The IFR says that India is one of the strongest growing economies among emerging Asian markets. In 2017, India ranked 14th in terms of the global annual supply, just behind Thailand and Spain. It says the continent has huge potential for growth considering how few robots currently are employed compared to human operatives with just 85 automated machines for every 10,000 workers, many fewer than Indonesia with 378 units for the worker ratio and China with 505 robots.

Junji Tsuda, IFR president, said: “The automotive industry will remain the main driver of the increasing number of robot installations in India. Numerous new projects have been announced by international and domestic car manufacturers striving to expand production capacities. Moreover, OEMs increasingly require local supply of automotive parts.”

He added that other industries, including plastics, rubber, metal and electrical and electronics, are catching up with the automotive sector with sales increasing by 46% in 2017.

“The general industry will further invest in production capacities and modernization to serve this growing consumer market. Consequently, further acceleration of the growth in robot sales is expected between 2018 and 2021.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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