App. B—Commissioned Background Papers
Mitchell Hutchins Inc.
Table 5: Japanese Production Share of Industrial Robots, by Type Market
Manipulators and Sequential Robots
Teaching Playback Robots
Automobile Industry Electrical Machinery Plastic Molding Metal Products Precision Machining
38.4% 17.5 10.8 8.1
& Metal Working Iron & Steel Other
6.0 4.2 15.0 100.0
Whether or not the auto industry was the dominant purchaser of robots in the U.S. in the 1970s is a moot point; it clearly will be the driving force for the industry in the 1980s. It’s no longer a secret that General Motors has projected an installed base of robots in its
facilities as high as
14,000 by 1990.
As the robotics market is expected to be dominated by the automotive and other heavy manu- facturing segments, at least during the first half of the 1980s, the principal applications
are unlikely to vary significantly from the current uses over the near-term:
Spot welding, which we estimate to account for 35-40% of total robot industry sales.
Material handling, including machine loading and unloading.
Die casting, investment casting,
forging and press loading.
Paint spraying and finishing.
Toward the middle of the 1980s, arc welding systems should the most important welding sector as demand for spot welders of the decade, it is likely for arc welders, machine loading
begin to grow rapidly and become plateaus. During the latter part and unloading and assembly robots
to be the primary areas of growth,
with assembly alone perhaps representing 35-40% of the total
and perhaps nearly half of the annual growth.
The traditional rationale as to why industry purchased robots was that they offer a means to
increase productivity and free workers from by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers
boring and unsafe tasks. (SME) indicates that there
recent Delphi Survey two key factors as