ABI Research forecasts industrial automation control and field device shipments will surpass 55 million units in 2017 and reach approximately 146 million by 2025. This will translate to $298 billion in industrial automation device revenue by 2025, with $45 billion attributed alone to robotics. Industrial robot shipments—a subset of industrial automation field devices—will reach slightly more than 300,000 in 2017.
According the press of PR Newswire on March 10, "Control and field devices from the likes of Emerson, Honeywell, and Siemens are used to integrate disparate technologies, as well as regulate, manage, and accomplish industrial automation," says Philip Solis, Research Director at ABI Research. "Robots from companies like ABB, Fanuc Corporation, Kuka Robotics Corporation, and Yaskawa Electric Corporation make up a small fraction of yearly industrial automation device shipments but account for a disproportionally large amount of revenue due to their high costs."
The automotive sector, which historically invests heavily in robotics and other automation technology for manufacturing purposes, is and will continue to be the leading acquirer of control and field devices for automation technologies. Other classes of manufacturers, like food producers, as well as non-manufacturing industries, such as logistics, are also adopting automation technologies at a rapid rate.
"The Asia-Pacific region, particularly Chinese manufacturers, will be responsible for much growth moving forward," concludes Solis. "Regional manufacturers are now relying on automation to try to offset a dramatic rise in Chinese worker wages and combat the declining numbers of age-appropriate employees in the workforce. Labor pool variability is another key growth factor that will undoubtedly lead to increased levels of automation technology among Chinese manufacturers in the coming years."