Conventional robots, like giant industrial robots used in the car industry, are set to reach $14.9bn value this year, up from $12bn in 2018.

Robotics play a huge role in the manufacturing landscape today. A growing number of businesses use manufacturing robots to automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and enable their employees to focus on innovation and efficiency, causing the entire sector’s impressive growth.

According to data presented by, the global market value of conventional and advanced robotics in the manufacturing industry is expected to continue rising and hit $18.6bn in 2021, a 40% increase in three years.

Market Value Jumped by $5.4B in Three Years

Robots have numerous roles in manufacturing. They are mainly used for high-volume, repetitive processes where their speed and accuracy offer tremendous advantages. Other manufacturing automation solutions include robots used to help people with more complex tasks, like lifting, holding, and moving heavy pieces.

Companies turn to robotics process automation to cut manufacturing costs, solve the shortage of skilled labor and keep their cost advantage in the market.

In 2018, the global market value of conventional and advanced robotics in the manufacturing industry amounted to $13.2bn, revealed the BCG survey. In 2019, this figure rose to $14.8bn and continued growing. Statistics show the market value of manufacturing robots hit $16.6bn in 2020. This figure is expected to jump by $2bn and hit $18.6bn in 2021.

Conventional robots, like giant industrial robots used in the car industry, are set to reach $14.9bn value this year, up from $12bn in 2018.

The market value of advanced manufacturing robots, which have a superior perception, adaptability, and mobility, tripled in the last three years and is expected to hit $3.7bn in 2021. Combined with big data analytics, advanced manufacturing robots allow companies to make intelligent decisions based on real-time data, which leads to lower costs and faster turnaround times.

The BCG survey also showed most manufacturers believe advanced robotic systems will have a massive role in the factory of the future and plan to increase their use. More than 70% of respondents defined robotics as a significant productivity driver in production and logistics.

European and Asian Companies Lead in the Use of Advanced Manufacturing Robots

Analyzed by regions, European and Asian companies lead in the use of advanced robots, while manufacturers from North America lag behind. However, the survey showed 80% of respondents from the US plan to implement advanced robotics in the next few years.

The survey also revealed that manufacturers in emerging markets, especially China and India, are more enthusiastic about using advanced robots than those in industrialized countries. These companies may be looking to automation as a way to overcome a skilled labor shortage and improve their ability to compete in international markets.

Germany had the largest robot density in the manufacturing industry among European countries, with 346 installations per 10,000 employees in 2019. Sweden, Denmark, and Italy followed with 277, 243, and 212 installations per 10,000 employees, respectively.

Statistics also show that companies in the transportation and logistics and technology sector lead in implementing advanced robotics, with 54% and 53% of manufacturers who already use such solutions. The automotive industry and consumer goods sector follow with 49% and 44% share, respectively.

Manufacturers in the engineered products, process, and health care industries lag behind, with 42%, 41%, and 30% of companies that use advanced manufacturing robots. However, around 85% of manufacturers in these sectors plan to start using advanced robotic systems by 2022.

It’s clear that technology is evolving across every business, allowing companies to become more productive and efficient. Computer systems, such…

It’s clear that technology is evolving across every business, allowing companies to become more productive and efficient.

Computer systems, such as CRMs and warehouse management systems, can help you plan out your workload as efficiently as possible to increase productivity of staff, while analytics allow you to judge what updates are needed and when.


It was announced in 2017 that line workers in the plant would pilot exoskeleton suits — wearable technology that can help support a worker’s arms while they undergo tasks above their heads. Ford’s Michigan plant is also using innovative technological developments to help its workforce. These suits can also be adjusted to support different weights, depending on the wearer’s needs.

While such suits were more likely to appear on the big screen in movies such as Iron Man just a few years ago, the creation is having positive feedback from its users in the real life world.

Printing techniques

In any manufacturing company, human error can be extremely costly. That’s where 3D printing can come into play. While it’s still early days for the technology, digital printing has the potential to have a massive impact on practicality. It’s expected that this invention will transform nearly every industry as it changes how manufacturers will do business and will impact material costs, the traditional assembly line and product pricing strategies.

They are particularly handy as automated printers, like those used by Voodoo Manufacturing, don’t need to be manned anymore and can continue working 24 hours a day. The use of robotics isn’t aimed at replacing humans, but more so making employees’ jobs easier.


Drones can impact a company massively, saving almost 12 hours on each inspection and reducing the time it takes to check the equipment from 12 hours to 12 minutes. Not only can drones provide a quick and thorough inspection, but they eliminate the health and safety risk of someone needing to scale up to 150 feet to look at gantries. They have started to use drones to help perform risky inspections on the factory’s equipment in it’s Dagenham engine plant. The company is benefitting massively,

Another advantage of drones is that they are particularly good at providing the company with video and still footage that can be stored to allow the plant to compare its findings over a period of time to monitor any changes or patterns that are noticeable. This has become an indispensable tool for the factory, with the drones greatly improving productivity and efficiency.

What does the future have in store?

The process of quality control can’t be too reliable, as faulty parts may well be produced in a batch and slip through after the checks. That’s why the ever-improving embedded metrology will continue to help manufacturers produce a better product. This quick and convenient solution is a lot more accurate and requires little human interference.

This process can traditionally be a very time-consuming and expensive project. There would be randomly selected machine-made parts that would be individually tested, and if they passed the test, the batch it came from would be validated.

To summarise, it’s anticipated that this human aspect can be removed completely, with technology helping to provide a fully integrated and fully automated form of quality control. While some of the public are concerned that jobs will be lost as it keeps progressing, it can only be a good thing for manufacturing companies as it continues to help improve productivity and efficiency. It will be interesting to see what we welcome to factories next! Technology is continuing to amaze us in all walks of life.

The automotive industry is no different, either, taking advantage of new inventions. It’s not only our cars that are benefitting from technological advances, though — the manufacturing industry is, too. Lookers, who offer a variety of cars such as the used Ford C Max, are an example of this too!

Described as a leap forward from traditional automation to fully connected and flexible systems, the idea of a smart factory…

Described as a leap forward from traditional automation to fully connected and flexible systems, the idea of a smart factory is one defined by data and connected systems that can learn and adapt to new demands. Here, we look at five of the most powerful smart factories, as identified by the World Economic Forum.

Schneider Electric (le Vaudreuil, France)

Recognised as one of the most advanced manufacturing sites in the world, applying Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies at scale, Schneider Electric’s le Vaudreuil factory is a shining example of a smart factory.

The factory has implemented the latest digital tools such as EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to speed up operation and maintenance, delivering between 2% and 7% gain in productivity. Its first implementation of EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor delivers up to 30% energy savings and contributes to continuous improvement over the years.

Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes (Cork, Ireland)

First established back in 1997, the DePuy Synthes medical device manufacturing facility has seen a multi-million dollar expansion in recent years to better embrace digitalisation and Industry 4.0.

One of the biggest investments Johnson & Johnson made was in the Internet of Things space. By connecting machines, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (known as digital twins) that lead to advanced machine insights. These insights allowed the company to lower its operating costs while simultaneously reducing machine downtime.

Bosch Automotive (Wuxi, China)

Opened in 2013, the Wuxi plant has been embracing data analytics over the last few years. The goal? To remove pain points including delayed data availability and even poor quality of the data. With a clear roadmap ahead, an industrial 4.0 framework, Bosch began implementing machine-condition sensors to capture data and improve the quality of said data. Key examples include the implementation of Bosch Nexeed PPM (Production Performance Manager) which allows for predictive maintenances or real-time process and machine condition monitoring. By using advanced data analytics, Bosch is able to deeply understand and eliminate output losses, simulate and optimise process settings and predict machine interruptions.

Haier – Qingdao, China

The SmartFactoryKL was built as a means of paving the way for ‘the intelligent factory of tomorrow’. It is the world’s first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production plant, acting as an exhibition of the power of high quality and flexible manufacturing and how it can be efficiently implemented.

Over the last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been driven by clear strategic goals that drive innovation and in 2019; the goal is to see the implementation of artificial intelligence in manufacturing. Artificial Intelligence led transformations include an ‘order-to-make’ mass customisation platform and a remote AI supported, intelligent service cloud platform to predict maintenance needs before they happen.

Procter & Gamble – Rakon, Czech Republic

The second oldest plant in Procter & Gamble’s portfolio, the plant is one of the most advanced factories in the world. With its implementation of an end-to-end synchronisation analytical model, the plant allows for simulation, agility and responsiveness across the entire supply chain.

Such innovation has seen an increase in speed to market, inventory efficiency and an uplift in customer satisfaction of 116%.