Arc welding uses an electrical arc between an electrode and a metal foundation using either consumable or non-consumable electrodes. An arc welding robot uses a mechanism that adds extreme heat to metal at the joint, allowing the metal to melt and combine. In general, the automatic arc welding equipment is constructed differently from that used for manual arc welding. Automatic arc welding usually requires high duty cycles, and welding equipment must be able to work in these conditions. Also, the modules of the equipment must have the necessary functionality and controls to communicate with the main control system. Some of the major benefits of the arc welding robots comprise– increased productivity, achieve consistency and repeatability, flexibility, eliminates numerous risks faced by welders, achieve superior quality, reduce production costs, and reduce weld distortion, among others.
The global Arc Welding Robots Market is expected to grow from USD 930.3 million in the year 2019 to USD 1859 million in 2029 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% in the forecast period.
Widespread Adoption of Industrial Robots across Key Markets' Manufacturing Sectors
Exponential growth in robot sales since 2011 is the key growth driver for the arc welding robot market. As per The International Federation of Robotics (IFR), approximately 2.1 million stand-alone industrial robots were installed in 2017, with shipments of 381,000 units globally. Trends in material handling operations, such as machine tending, welding, soldering, and assembling, have been bolstering heavy industrial robots' demand in recent years.
The growth of manufacturing activities in automotive and electrical and electronics sectors, among others, across key markets, such as China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, and the U.S., augment market growth globally. Further, the rising demand for mobile and collaborative robots that are user-friendly and programmed as per application is expected to foster market growth during the forecast period.
New Models with Advanced Technical Abilities
Economic growth and the rise in disposable income have greatly contributed to the heightening demand for multipurpose, smaller, and lower-cost robots recently. In addition to this, the cost of producing robots has dropped by more than 50%, which has immensely increased the global adoption of robots for welding.
Welding robots are more consistent, provide greater productivity, yield, and throughput, and reduce the need for rework. These benefits, along with greater precision in manufacturing, repair, and maintenance, drive adoption in various industry verticals, such as automotive and transport, aerospace and defense, and electrical and electronics.
High Labor Costs
With rising modernization in the manufacturing sector, the associated labor costs are rising not just in industrial countries but also in countries such as China and India. The significant rise in labor costs is partly due to the shortage of skilled workers and partly due to an increase in cost-intensive labor transience, as it is hectic for people to move from job to job.
Robotics specialists are rare, and the cost of initial installations and software integration is expensive. Thus, the lack of labor with the skills required to design, install, operate, and maintain robotic production systems and the lack of homogeneous programming platforms or interfaces and integrators working across OEMs hamper the speedy market growth.
Impact of COVID-19
The pandemic wreaked havoc for all key industries as there was a temporary shutdown of all the activities. Industries such as manufacturing, automotive and transportation, and aerospace and defense were among the worst hit, and the losses incurred by businesses due to temporary shutdowns affected production capacity, restraining new purchases. In time, new mandates of social distancing and working with minimal staff revived the adoption of robots in the workspace. Most of the key players effectively strategized with other companies or accelerated their R&D efforts to deploy new, effective, and affordable solutions.
Based on type, the arc welding robots market is divided into Non-Consumable Electrode Type and Consumable Electrode Type.
The consumable electrode acts as a filler and melts down during welding, supplying the necessary filler material to fill the root gap by subsequent deposits on the weld bead. The electrode's material must be selected based on the parent material to ensure chemical stability. Since the electrode material is absorbed during welding, periodic electrode replacement is a necessity. However, the frequency of replacement depends on the scale of the electrode and the rate of deposition of the filler. Consumable electrodes cater to the highest share in the arc welding robot market owing to their several benefits, such as a high deposition rate and high output on automation. Further, cost-effectiveness and the need for limited supervision also drive more extensive adoption among industries.
Based on application, the arc welding robot market is divided into automotive and transportation, electrical and electronics, aerospace and defense, metals and machinery, and others.
The automotive and transportation segment holds the highest market share by application owing to the high demand for automobiles. The tremendous use of machinery and robotic devices in automotive manufacturing has increased the use of welding robots. The surging demand from consumers has increased the production of vehicles over the years. As per the OrganisationInternationale des Constructeursd'Automobiles, global vehicle production stood at 91,786,861 in 2019. In developing countries, compact and mid-sized cars have gained traction considering the populaces' increasing purchasing power. Further, the inclination toward fast lifestyle, comfort, and convenience has made it essential for people to purchase vehicles for personal as well as professional use.
The rising demand for industrial robotics is pegged to be the North American market's key driver. The automobile industry in the U.S. accounts for most of the demand for industrial robotics. According to a report by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), 27,294 robots, worth approximately USD 1,473 billion, were sold in North America in the first nine months of 2017. Modern manufacturing facilities focus on new, advanced, and innovative technology to quickly manufacture high-quality goods at lower costs.
Additionally, there has been tremendous penetration of industrial robots in the U.S. Additionally, there has been tremendous penetration of industrial robots in the U.S. According to the Robotic Industries Association, more than 250,000 industrial robots have been deployed in the country. To gain a strategic edge in the new situation, manufacturers are introducing innovative technologies and hardware, which favors the arc welding robot market.
Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest share of the arc welding market due to the region's dominant industrial robot market, the government and private sector's opportunities, and a flourishing manufacturing sector. China is considered the dominating market for industrial robots due to government policies that promote the country's manufacturing sector's modernization. Policy initiatives, including the National High-Tech R&D Program, Made in China 2025, and the Robotic Industry Development Program, call for more automation and robotics investments.
Japan's Society 5.0 plan aims to use advanced technologies such as AI, robotics, big data analytics, and the internet of things (IoT) to create an optimized and sustainable manufacturing sector. To facilitate this plan, the Japanese government increased its budget for science and technology by USD 5 billion between 2017 and 2019, boosting investment in the R&D of digital technologies.
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