Industrial Robot Is the Foundation and Core Field of Intelligent Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

Industrial robot is the basis of intelligent manufacturing and industry 4.0, and it is also an important field of concern due to the concept of "import substitution".

Since 2013, China has become the world's largest industrial robot market, due to the upward labor cost caused by labor shortage and the promotion of industrialization process, which has reduced the production cost of robots and accelerated the pace of machine replacement in downstream industries.

According to IFR data, after nearly 20 years of rapid growth, the growth rate of global industrial robots has gradually slowed down in recent years, which is mainly related to the decline of industrial prosperity in recent years and the high per capita density of industrial robots in some developed countries. Fall adjustment in 2018-2019 (mainly due to the expiration of subsidies and the decline of downstream prosperity of automobile, 3C and machining core).

Since the second half of 2019, the investment in lithium battery and photovoltaic has been stable, 3C has warmed up, 5g has accelerated, new energy vehicle projects have accelerated, and the superposition of several projects has led to the recovery of robot demand.

The "four families" have significant advantages in robot core parts, ontology manufacturing and integrated solutions, form the competitiveness of the whole industrial chain, and occupy about 50% of the global industrial robot market. According to the data, the market shares of FANUC, abb, Yaskawa and KUKA are 13.0%, 12.3%, 8.8% and 7.4% respectively.

The "four families" have their own emphasis on the robot industry chain. ABB takes power motor and motion control system as its core technology; KUKA is a global leader in robot ontology and solutions; Fanuc's CNC system ranks first in the world, accounting for 70% of the global market share; YASKAWA motor has core competitiveness in servo motor and controller.

Fanuc, abb and Yaskawa motors can produce their own core parts except the reducer, while KUKA's servo and reducer need to be purchased. In terms of the technical advantages of core parts, the four families develop robot ontology and integration scheme respectively, and have the advantages of the whole industrial chain.

In addition, Japanese brands such as Epson, Yamaha, Kawasaki, bueryue and Mitsubishi rank in the forefront, and seven of the top ten suppliers in the market share are Japanese manufacturers.

The domestic industrial robot body market is still occupied by international giants. At present, China's industrial robot market is still dominated by foreign brands such as "four families".

In recent years, domestic excellent brands such as Easton, Hagong intelligence, Qianjiang robot and Huichuan have begun to rise, and their share has gradually increased. Among domestic brands, Aston ranks 10th with the highest market share of 2.4%, followed by zhongweixing (xinshida subsidiary), with the market share of 2.0%.

The industrial robot industry chain includes three parts: upstream core parts, midstream robot body and downstream integrated application.

Upstream is the manufacturer of controller, servo motor, reducer, sensor, end effector and other parts. Controller, servo motor and reducer are the three core parts of industrial robot, which is equivalent to the "brain" of robot.

Midstream is the body manufacturer, which is responsible for the assembly and integration of the industrial robot body, that is, the base and actuator, including arms, wrists, etc. some robot bodies also include walking structures;

The downstream is an integrated application provider, which applies industrial robots to all walks of life, and is responsible for targeted system integration and software secondary development of industrial robots according to different application scenarios and uses.

Industrial robot system integration is responsible for the targeted secondary development of the robot body according to different application scenarios and uses, and supporting peripheral equipment to realize industrial application.

Compared with upstream core components and midstream ontology, downstream system integration has the lowest technical barriers and has the competitive advantage of localized services. Domestic enterprises have poured into the field of downstream system integration. Only after system integration can automation equipment be put into downstream industries such as automobile, electronics and metal processing for end customers.

Due to the arrival of the critical point of machine replacement parity in the long tail application market, the economy of replacing labor by industrial robots is becoming more and more obvious, and the density of industrial robots in medium and low-end application fields will accelerate the penetration. With the recovery of the industrial robot industry and the sales volume entering the rising channel, domestic robot enterprises are more flexible under the background of import substitution.

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