The global packaging robot market is fragmented with the top ten players accounting for a mere 32% of the market in 2016, states a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). Key players in the market include ABB Ltd., FANUC Corporation, KUKA Roboter GmbH, and Yaskawa Electric Corporation. Each of the key players have their own unique selling proposition. For instance, ABB Ltd. enters into long term contracting with clients and also ensures that it has a broad product portfolio. FANUC Corporation specializes in super-heavy payload robots and collaborative robots. It has differentiated its brand by providing high level product customization. Most players in the global packaging robot market are involved in strategic mergers and acquisitions activities.
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According to the report, the global market opportunity in packaging robots will rise from US$1,670 mn in 2016 to US$5,035 mn by 2024. On the basis of application, the packing robots segment will lead and account for 39% by 2024. The picking segment will expand at a 15.7% CAGR from 2016 to 2024. By gripper type, the vacuum segment will continue to lead, accounting for 32% of the market by 2024. On the basis of end use industry, the industrial packaging segment is projected to remain dominant and represent 30% of the global packaging robot market by 2024. By region, TMR expects Asia Pacific to be the most lucrative segment and account for 79.9% of the market by 2024.
Need for High Degree of Automation in Packaging Lines to Drive Demand for Packaging Robots
Packaging robots increase flexibility and optimize overall line throughput of packaging in an industry. They result in low downtime between packaging runs and also help reduce waste during product handling, loading, and inspection. Packaging robots occupy less floor space compared to humans and are thus used for packaging applications across industries such as fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages. This trend is expected to further gain traction across various end-use industries over the next few years, driving the market. In addition to this, packaging robots offer impressive returns on investment, which is another factor driving investor interest in packaging robots.
Various technological advancements have enabled packaging robot manufacturers to customize robotic automation as per requirements of manufacturing facilities. This is because, multiple axes, motion path, inline steps, and angles of a packaging robot can be easily programmed through automation engineering. Depending on the requirement of a particular end-use industry, multiple options are available while choosing end-effectors such as mono pick, multiple suction cup, reflex pick and gripper. Thus, customization of robot automation is attracting various end-use industries and boosting their demand.
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High Initial Capital Investment to Deter Adoption of Packaging Robots
Owing to the high initial capital investment and maintenance cost, adoption of robotic automation in packaging lines for small and medium manufacturers is not feasible. This is hampering the growth of the market. Another factor challenging the growth of the market is the dearth of skilled labor. This is especially true for emerging nations, where the adoption of packaging robots is relatively new. Skilled labor and maintenance department are required to maintain and achieve a smooth functioning of these systems.
Development of Next-generation Packaging Robots to Emerge as Opportunity of Growth
Next generation packaging robots offer innovative solution to packaging issues, which several industries face, including pharmaceutical. Use of robots, particularly in vaccine packaging, has been adopted by prominent vaccine suppliers. Global leaders in packaging robot manufacturing such as ABB, Komatsu, and FANUC have developed robots for specialty applications in pharmaceuticals. These new robots with increased operating speed and lifting capabilities equip vaccine and syringe manufacturers with increased production capacity.
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