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Korea leads the world in manufacturing robots, US is seventh

Recent data shows that both Korea and China are ahead of the US in terms of ratios of robots to manufacturing workers.

Robot use is an indication of economic prosperity and growth throughout the world. The ratio of industrial robots to manufacturing workers is one of the most frequently used approaches to benchmarking robot adoption rates.

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) publishes statistics on robot utilization worldwide in manufacturing. Its most recent data is from 2021 and shows Korea leading the way in terms of robot use in manufacturing. This is according to a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published on Tuesday.

Korea first

The nation boasted 1,000 robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers. Singapore came in second with 670. China was fifth with 322 robots per 10,000 workers compared to 274 in the US, which came in seventh. The report did not specify if it was North or South Korea but the latter has been most notably very active in robotics development through a variety of initiatives.

The nation is a significant producer of industrial robots used in a variety of manufacturing industries, including the production of machinery, electronics, and automobiles. Leading South Korean businesses in this industry include LS Mtron, Doosan Robotics, and Hyundai Robotics. To increase productivity and efficiency in manufacturing operations, these businesses produce a wide variety of industrial robots, such as robotic arms and automation systems.

South Korean manufacturers have also been at the forefront of developing collaborative robots, or cobots. Cobots are meant to work securely and efficiently alongside humans and South Korean businesses like Hanwha Robotics and Techman Robot have been engaged in manufacturing these types of machines for use in assembly lines.

Furthermore, through funding, research grants, and incentives for research and development activities, the South Korean government has contributed significantly to promoting the robotics manufacturing industry, increasing competition and encouraging development in the sector.

Finally, universities and research facilities in South Korea are actively engaged in robotics research and development, advancing the technology at an impressive rate. To promote innovation and develop fresh robotics solutions, several of these institutes partner with the commercial sector.

An important exporter

This has resulted in a vibrant thriving market that sees manufacturers of robots in South Korea sell their goods internationally. As a result of the high calibre and dependability of their products, South Korea is a significant exporter in the robotics industry.

It's crucial to keep in mind that as new businesses emerge and existing ones expand their product lines, the landscape of the robotics manufacturing sector may shift over time. According to the IFR, China was beating Korea in terms of new adoption of robots.

The organization calculated the actual robot adoption rate as a share of the expected robot adoption rate and found that China was at 850 percent whereas Korea was only at 450 percent. Does this mean that China may soon overtake the leading nation?

It could very well be. Massive sums of money are being committed by the country's national and provincial governments to subsidize the use of robots and other automation technologies with China’s Robotics Industry Development Plan, in implementation from 2016 to 2020, having an ambitious mission to expand robot use tenfold by 2025.


Published by: Interesting Engineering (link)

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