The global warehouse robotics market was valued at USD 3.47 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 7.0% from 2017 to 2025. In the past few years, the manufacturing sector has increased spending on the inclusion of robots in the industrial mass production process.
Global warehouse robotics market revenue, by region, 2015 - 2025 (USD Billion)
The growing need to automate warehouse processes to bring in efficiency, reduce time, and lighten labor-intensive processes to address the strain on order fulfillment has gained importance in the recent past. Companies are continuously investing in automating their warehouse and logistics operations to effectively address the increase in demand volume, more so with the increasing prevalence of omnichannel retailing. Warehouse robots reduce order-to-delivery time lapse, order packaging error and the need for reverse logistics, and order processing outside of traditional time slots.
Capabilities such as data analytics, inventory tracking, picking and transporting have also added to the increasing demand for warehouse robots. The recent move in warehouse robotics includes the planned investment of USD 300 million by DHL Supply Chain, a logistics division of DHL, to modernize around 60.0% of its warehouses in North America by 2019.
Segmentation by Product
• SCARA Robots
• Mobile Robots
• Articulated Robots
• Cylindrical Robots
• Parallel Robots
• Cartesian Robots
Mobile robots are constantly gaining importance in the industrial sector. As of 2017, mobile robots dominated the market with a share of more than 35.0%. Mobile robots are widely used for transportation, surveillance, painting, and inspection tasks. These robots are also used in the healthcare industry where they assist doctors during surgeries. These robots are flexible and allow surgeons to have a high definition view of the surgical site.
Articulated robots are used in the manufacturing sector as they bring in production efficiency and reduce cost. These robots are flexible and are usually deployed in pick-up and assembling processes in a manufacturing plant. Articulated robots are typically used in food and beverage, heavy machinery, and plastic manufacturing industries where they are used for performing multiple functions including picking, assembling, cutting, material handling, welding, sealing, spraying, and painting.
Segmentation by Function
• Pick & Place
• Assembling & Dissembling
In 2017, usage of robots for pick & place function dominated the market accounting for more than 36.0% share. Pick & place activity remains one of the most performed functions in a warehouse. Over the past few years, the e-commerce industry has grown considerably with more and more consumers shopping online. Given the growth in the e-commerce market, added focus is on the supply chain management including warehouse operations for efficient inventory management and to reduce lead time.
Transportation is another area, where usage of robots is increasing considerably. Robot usage in transportation is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 7.0% from 2017 to 2025. The rising importance of robotics for material handling in the manufacturing sector in countries such as Germany and France are expected to add to the growth of the robotics market over the coming years. Robots used for transportation activities can choose the shortest path, pick specified products, and placing products at specific locations.
Segmentation by Application
• Electrical & Electronics
• Metal & Machinery
• Food & Beverage
• Chemical, Rubber, & Plastics
In 2017, robotics usage in e-commerce accounted for a share of 28.6%. E-commerce is also the fastest growing application market for robots, growing at a CAGR of more than 11.0% from 2017 to 2025. Packaging is a key area where robots are used for picking, packing, and palletizing products. Packaging robotics are segmented into tray tackers, case packers, palletizers, tray loaders, and case loaders.
Segmentation by Region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
• Middle East & Africa
As of 2017, North America held the largest market share of 34.1%. Over the past few years, North America has witnessed considerable growth in the warehouse robotics market. The growth is encouraged by the expansion of the e-commerce sector and the strong foothold of the manufacturing sector in the U.S. As of 2017, more than 200 million people have been using e-commerce on an annual basis in the U.S. E-commerce user base and spending are expected to grow over the coming years, which will require companies to add more warehouse capabilities and operational efficiency. Therefore, the robot manufacturers are expected to witness growth in the region in the near future.
The global warehouse robotics market is fragmented in nature with the presence of multiple local and international players. Over the past few years, the market has witnessed many mergers and acquisitions by companies to strengthen their presence. For instance, in July 2017, ABB acquired B&R, an Austria based automation company, to expand its machine and factory automation portfolio. ABB also acquired AB Rotech, a Turkey-based engineering company, in July 2018 with the aim to boost its robotic welding solutions unit. In June 2018, ABB acquired GE Industrial, an industrial solution provider to strengthen its position in the global electrification market and expand its business in North America. Some of the key manufacturers in the market include ABB, FANUC, KUKA AG, Yaskawa Electric Corporation, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Locus Robotics, Amazon Robotics, Honeywell International Inc., OMRON Corporation, Fetch Robotics, Inc., IAM Robotics, and IBM.
Research Support Specialist, USA