Worldwide robot makers have been expanding their capacity recently with Germany-based Kuka cooperating with the China-based Midea Group to expand its capacity in Europe and China. Meanwhile, Japan-based Yaskawa has also increased investment at its plants, and Taiwan-based Quanta Storage has partnered with Japan-based Panasonic and Hiwin Technologies to push into the market.
Sources from the upstream supply chain noted that China and Taiwan's IT industries are expected to increase adoption of automated production lines as development of Industry 4.0 has grown more mature.
Currently, the worldwide industrial robot industry is controlled mainly by four major makers: Kuka, Switzerland-based ABB Robotics, and Fanuc and Yaskawa from Japan, but growing demand for automated consumer electronics production has created new business opportunities attracting players such as Quanta Storage to enter the market.
Kuka has been expanding its capacity worldwide since 2016 and is expected to increase its overall capacity by 40% by the end of 2017. The company is also aiming to double its capacity in Shanghai, China and increase its capacity in Augsburg, Germany by 30%. Kuka said that demand for universal robots has been rising as clients are looking to simplify control over their robots. Kuka has been working to improve the system to satisfy demand.
Kuka is planning to showcase its latest products and innovations at the Hannover Messe 2017 show, which will be hosted from April 24-28.
Japan-based Yaskawa will also start expanding its capacity at plants in Nanjing, China in the near future and will increase its production volume from 500 units per month to 1,000.
Quanta Storage's robot business is mainly handled by its wholly-owned subsidiary Techman Robot which recently signed a contract with Panasonic and E-Con Automation to distribute Techman Robot's TM5 products in Taiwan and China. Techman's will also expand its capacity in March to satisfy growing demand for its products.
Techman Robot has also cooperated with players including E-Con, Hiwin, RGK, Robotics & 3A, Schunk to release a plug and play toolkit to help simplify software/hardware integration of robotic arms.
In addition to Taiwan and China, Quanta Storage will also start selling automation products in Europe and North America for IT and traditional industries.