With the vigorous promotion of “made in China 2025”, “robot industry development plan (2016-2020)” and “strong foundation project”, robot has become one of the important symbols to measure the national innovation ability and industrial competitiveness, and has broad market prospects. Moreover, in the context of the gradual reduction of demographic dividend, the application of robots solves the problem of labor shortage in labor-intensive enterprises, which not only promotes the development of equipment manufacturing industry, but also drives the development of artificial intelligence, image recognition and other related industries. Vigorously developing intelligent manufacturing equipment represented by robots will help to improve the quality and efficiency of China’s manufacturing industry, promote the transformation and upgrading of China’s equipment manufacturing industry, and inject strong power into economic development.

Based on the in-depth analysis of the development status, technical level, development trend, investment hotspots and opportunities of robotics in China and even in the world, CCID consultants pointed out that industrial robots have entered the mature stage of development, and service robots are still in the initial stage of development; China has become the largest market of industrial robots in the world for three consecutive years, and service robots are expected to become the next blue ocean; Robot core parts enterprises, cooperative robot enterprises and service robot enterprises focusing on software and algorithm will get more investment opportunities; industrial development needs to break through the bottleneck of robot key parts technology, increase brand influence, pay attention to robot software and algorithm, and enhance industrial soft power.

The application of robots in emerging industries continues to deepen

The development of robot industry has experienced a long period of germination, R & D and application. Industrial robots came out in 1959, and gradually developed from simple programmable robots to high-precision and intelligent robots. Service robots began to enter the family in the 21st century, and are still in the early stage of development.

In terms of products, cooperative robots bring new opportunities for production and assembly.

The development status, technology level, development trend, investment hotspots and opportunities of global robot field are analyzed

Compared with the large and heavy robots used in the traditional automobile industry, the cooperative robot has the characteristics of lightweight, miniaturization and refinement, which can meet the demand and supply of robots in the future consumer electronics industry; The human-computer cooperative robot improves the perception ability, and can learn to perform various tasks through demonstration training. It can program its programs and algorithms, and carry out visual operation, which lays the necessary foundation for developing new application fields.

Technically, machine vision technology helps domestic enterprises to enter the upstream link.

From the perspective of market demand, the number of robots in the world is increasing year by year, and the increase in the number and scale of robots is also driving the demand for machine vision function. From the technical level, in recent years, the number of patents in China’s machine vision industry has increased rapidly, which will promote the development of machine vision technology to higher accuracy and higher requirements. Because machine vision technology mainly relies on software services, semiconductor chips and sensors and other hardware products, it helps domestic enterprises to quickly enter the upstream development link of the industrial chain, and is of great significance to realize the intelligent and green development of the manufacturing process.

In terms of application, the demand of many emerging downstream areas is still forming and growing.

Combined with the current product structure in China, the application of robots in emerging industries will continue to deepen. These industries include tobacco, medicine, household appliances, warehousing and logistics, hardware and bathroom, petrochemical industry, etc. Especially in recent years, the country attaches great importance to environmental protection and people’s livelihood issues. High pollution industries such as plastics and rubber, as well as food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries related to people’s livelihood are expected to deeply apply robots to help enterprises realize automatic, intelligent and green production.

Industrial development needs to break through the technical bottleneck of key parts

Robot industry chain includes four core links: core parts, ontology manufacturing, system integration and industry application. On the whole, the robot industry chain is short, each link is very important, which has an important impact on the overall situation of the industry.

In the core parts, the core parts of the robot include servo system, reducer, controller, sensor, etc. the control process of the robot is that the controller sends instructions to the servo drive, drives the servo motor to rotate, and executes the action through the reducer. From the perspective of industrial development prospects, in the future, China will focus on the layout of core parts, which will be directly applied to the production of domestic enterprises, in order to replace imported products, so as to realize the integrity and autonomy of the industrial chain, which is of great significance.

In terms of body manufacturing, robot body is also called robot bare metal. According to the mechanical structure, it can be divided into rectangular coordinate robot, SCARA robot, joint robot, cylindrical coordinate robot and so on. From the perspective of industrial development prospects, the foreign industrial robot ontology is mature, and the domestic industrial robot ontology is still in the initial stage of development. However, some enterprises are engaged in the R & D and production of articulated robot ontology. In the future, with the expansion of robot application market, the ontology production enterprises will continue to increase.

System integration refers to the installation of fixtures and other supporting systems (visual control, force control, etc.) on the body to complete specific functions. According to the application classification, integration can be divided into handling application, welding application, spraying application, cutting application, etc. From the perspective of industrial development prospects, various industries are facing various pressures such as industrial modernization, and there is an urgent need to improve the digital and intelligent production environment, which also brings a strong demand situation for the robot industry, and there is a broad space for future development.

In terms of industry application, the automobile manufacturing industry is the application field with the highest proportion of industrial robots, covering the whole process of production, processing and storage of complete vehicles and auto parts; due to the requirements of flexible manufacturing and high-speed production, the electronic industry will have a large demand for industrial robots; The introduction of industrial robots into the metal and mechanical processing industry is conducive to mass production of products, reducing labor costs, improving production efficiency and management level; high pollution industries such as plastic and rubber, and food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries related to people’s livelihood will also be important application fields of industrial robots in the 13th Five Year Plan period.

At present, China’s robot industry has made some achievements and formed a certain scale and agglomeration, but there are still several key problems.

From the perspective of industrial chain, although China has a certain foundation in related parts, there is a big gap between China and foreign countries in terms of quality, comprehensive product series and batch supply. In particular, the gap between High-Performance AC servo motor and precision reducer is particularly obvious, resulting in a situation of serious dependence on imports, which affects the market competitiveness of domestic robots.

From the perspective of brand influence, domestic robot enterprises have made great achievements in the past decade. Although there are a large number of enterprises engaged in the development of robots in China, they have not formed a large scale, lack of brand awareness in the market, and have been facing the pressure of foreign brands in the market.

From the perspective of industrialization, the first is that the cost of domestic industrial robots remains high due to the dependence on imports of key parts, and the products can not be popularized; the second is that many aspects of industrial robot technology still remain at the level of imitation, and the lack of innovation ability restricts the expansion of robot market. In view of the above problems, the following suggestions are put forward.

First, it is the key to lay a solid technical foundation and reduce the cost. From the current domestic robot production mode, if the unit price is not reduced, the formation of industrialization will face difficulties. The three core components of robots in China mainly rely on imports, which leads to high cost and slow industrialization process. Therefore, China’s industrial robots in the technical level need to adhere to the steady development route, by consolidating the basic technology, breaking through the core technology, reducing product costs, to enhance the overall level and competitiveness of China’s industrial robots.

Second, merger and reorganization, cultivating leading enterprises and supporting independent brands are the starting points. There is a lack of leading international robot manufacturing enterprises in China, and the level of industrialization needs to be improved. Therefore, enterprises in the industry are strongly encouraged to cultivate industry leaders through mergers and acquisitions, support and develop national brands with industry competitiveness and influence, and form an industry development pattern led by leaders.

Third, to avoid hard and soft, to strengthen service application and to break through the scale is the way out. There are great differences between China’s robots and foreign products in key parts, body manufacturing and other aspects, which may be difficult to break through in a short time. Therefore, in accelerating the industrialization process of domestic robots, we should focus on strengthening the industry application and customer service. It can give full play to the advantages of soft power such as industry application and customer service, temporarily avoid the shortage of hardware such as key parts and robot body, enhance the soft power, and give priority to the growth of industry scale.

Industrial robot market continues to maintain stable growth

From a global perspective, the robot market in the Asia Pacific region accounts for about two-thirds of the total. According to IFR estimates, in 2015, the global sales of industrial robots reached about 248000 units, an increase of 8.3% year on year. CCID consultants predict that by 2020, the global sales of industrial robots will exceed 430000, with an average annual growth rate of about 12%.

Compared with industrial robots, the global service robot industry is still in its infancy. According to IFR statistical data, in 2014, the global sales of special service robots were 24207, with a year-on-year growth of 11.5%; the global sales of personal / home service robots were 4.7 million, with a year-on-year growth of 28%. Service robots are expected to become a new generation of intelligent terminals after computers and mobile phones, especially in the home field. It is expected that the global service robot market will grow rapidly in the future.

Domestically, China has become the largest market for industrial robots in the world for three consecutive years. In 2015, the sales volume of robots in China increased by 19.3%, reaching 68000 units, continuing to be the largest market of industrial robots. CCID consultants predict that China’s industrial robot market will continue to maintain stable growth in the future. In 2020, China’s industrial robot market will exceed 160000 units, with an average annual compound growth rate of about 19.5%.

In terms of domestic service robots, the future development trend is promising, and it is expected to surpass industrial robots and become the next blue ocean. From the perspective of industrial development, the development resistance of service robots in China is less than that of industrial robots. First, foreign service robots are also emerging industries, most companies are in the research and development stage, and there is little gap in the time process with domestic companies; Second, because the service robot is developed for a specific market, it can give full play to the advantages of the close combination of local companies and the industry, making domestic enterprises occupy a dominant position in the competition with foreign enterprises; third, the service robot product category is broader, and the enterprises engaged in traditional products also have the opportunity to enter the service robot market competition. Driven by the rigid factors of aging population and rising labor costs, the service robot industry will also usher in the spring.

At present, China’s robot industry is generally distributed in the Bohai rim, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and central and western regions.

Bohai rim is an automatic manufacturing base for leading enterprises. Relying on the technological advantages provided by universities and research institutes in Beijing and Tianjin, and tapping the huge potential of the local market, the Bohai Rim region has gradually formed a robot industry chain combining production, learning and research.

In the Yangtze River Delta, there is a robot R & D and production base full of giant dragons. The Yangtze River Delta is an industrial robot gathering area with obvious advantages in automobile application. Thanks to the first and a large number of applications of robots, the robot industry has a solid foundation and presents the development trend of the whole industry chain.

The Pearl River Delta is a robot application base with broad market opportunities. The manufacturing industry in the Pearl River Delta is developed, but it is concentrated in labor-intensive links such as assembly and packaging. In order to accelerate the industrial transformation and improve the global competitiveness of the regional economy, Guangdong, Fujian and other governments have issued special support policies for robots.

It is a robot production base with obvious cost advantage in central and western regions. At present, the development of industrial robot industry in the central and western regions of China is relatively backward, but the region has key advantages such as cost. It is a robot production base with obvious cost advantages, which can attract a number of enterprises to settle in and build a robot industry base, and seize the development opportunity of national industrial transformation and upgrading.

The total amount of service robot industry is small, and the potential demand is large

In 2015, global robot companies received a total investment of 587 million US dollars. At the same time, the amount of investment and financing for a single project is also increasing year by year. Service robots will get more investment and financing opportunities in 2015, especially in the field of medical services.

Since 2014, many listed companies in the field of industrial robots have entered the field of robots through the mode of cooperation and equity participation. Compared with industrial robots, the potential demand for service robots is great, but at present the total amount of industry is small, and the investment institutions are mostly in the wait-and-see state.

In terms of investment opportunities, there are three points to pay attention to.

First, focus on enterprises with key layout in core parts. Core parts are the profit center of industrial robots, especially in the field of reducer, which is the most important factor restricting the cost reduction of domestic industrial robots. Although there are many difficulties in the research and development of domestic industrial robot reducer, and there is still a certain gap between the performance of domestic products and the international level, the overall product quality is gradually improving.

Second, human-machine cooperative robots are seizing the next air outlet. Cooperative robots have the latest development trend of small, lightweight and highly integrated robots. At present, they are in the stage of market promotion. In the future, these robots will be mainly used in the fast-growing electronic industry to meet the requirements of flexibility, flexibility and high precision.

Third, software and algorithms lead the intelligent development of service robots. Robot software and algorithms determine the robot’s ability in language recognition, image recognition, natural language processing and other aspects, greatly enhancing the “soft power” of the product. Through deep ploughing software and algorithms, enterprises in the industry can intelligently optimize robot products, and expand to platform, network, artificial intelligence and other directions.

Editor in charge: Tzh

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