There will be 1.7 million new robots which will transform the world´s factories as soon as 2020, according to forecasts.

The International Federation of Robotics has released its 2017 World Robotics Report, which estimates that by 2020 the worldwide stock of operational industrial robots will increase from about 1,828,000 units at the end of 2016 to 3,053,000.

It says the new generation of industrial robots will pave the way for more flexible automation to cater for customer demand across manufacturing sectors.

The strongest growth in the robotics industry is in Asia, with China the world’s number one marketplace. In 2017 robot installations are estimated to increase by 21 per cent in the Asia-Australia region, 16 per cent in the Americas and eight per cent in Europe.

"Robots offer high levels of precision and their connectivity will play a key role in new digital manufacturing environments,” said Joe Gemma, president of the IFR.

“Increasing availability enables more and more manufacturers from companies of all sizes to automate.”

The IFR says that Industry 4.0 – linking the real-life factory with virtual reality – will play an increasingly important role in global manufacturing.

It adds: “As obstacles like system complexities and data incompatibility are overcome, manufacturers will integrate robots into factory-wide networks of machines and systems.

“Ultimately, the advent of Big Data in manufacturing could redefine the industry boundaries between equipment makers and manufacturers.

“It is important to provide easy-to-use robots that can easily be integrated into and operated in standard production processes.

“Robots that are uncomplicated to use will enable the deployment of industrial robots in many industries to sustain efficient and flexible manufacturing.”

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