The robotics market in India has gained momentum as a result of industrial expansion, digital revolution, and adoption of automation at a large scale. In terms of annual installation, the industrial robotics market in India stood at 5,000 units in 2019 and is estimated to reach 11,760 units by 2025, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.41% during the 2020-2025 period. Industrial robots can be automatically controlled, programmed, and manipulated in three or more axes. Based on mechanical configuration and level of autonomy, industrial robots are classified as stand-alone robots, cobots, and mobile robots.
Industrial applications of robotics:
The automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, plastic, metal, electrical, and electronics sectors are the major end-users of industrial robotics in India. The automotive industry has been the leading end-user of industrial robots, accounting for 48% of annual installations in 2019. Automotive manufacturers have been keen to adopt automation solutions in their production plants to improve productivity. The strong presence of various international and domestic automotive manufacturers has fueled the demand for industrial robotics in the country. Various automotive manufacturers like Tata Motors Ltd., Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., and Maruti Suzuki Ltd. have strengthened on indigenous production of robots.
The demand for industrial robotics from general manufacturing industries including plastic, metal, electrical, electronics, food, and pharmaceutical is anticipated to pick up at a healthy rate over the forecast period. The fourth industrial revolution or industry 4.0 is expected to play a pivotal role in propelling the demand for industrial robotics in India. The healthcare industry has also emerged as one of the prominent users of robotics, especially in the areas of hospital applications, surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation.
Technological evolution has helped in dealing with the complexities of industrial operations and thus led to a spurring demand for automated robotic solutions across the different industrial sectors. Robotics offers an array of advantages such as cost-efficiency, enhanced quality, and flexibility in production, as well as improved safety and solution for the labor shortage, which has stimulated the adoption of robotics.
India’s emergence as the global automotive production hub has been attributed to the healthy growth of the Indian robotics market. Industrial robots played an instrumental role in enhancing flexibility and precision in automotive manufacturing processes. Furthermore, smart manufacturing through robotics has driven the demand for robotics in various sub-sectors of the manufacturing industry including electronics, pharmaceuticals, food, machinery and equipment, and metals.
India has embraced robotics at a slower pace as compared to countries like the U.S., China, South Korea, and Japan. The high cost of ownership owing to the exorbitant cost of hardware components, maintenance, support, and research and development is a major roadblock. Furthermore, India lacks in terms of trained resources for the implementation, integration, and maintenance of industrial robots. Moreover, the lack of a standard programming platform and user interface poses substantial challenges.
Impact of COVID-19:
The market has immense opportunities to demonstrate unique use cases for various industries. Robots enable industries to function impeccably with reduced human intervention. In the wake of the pandemic, the adoption of industrial robots has been expedited since they offer a safe interface between patients and frontline healthcare workers.
Industrial robot manufacturers including Asimov Robots Pvt Ltd, Milagrow HumanTech, Invento Robotics, and Persapien Innovations came up with unique robotics solutions for applications such as disinfection and sanitization, patient screening, remote treatment, and delivery of food and medicines. Furthermore, the unavailability of human workers owing to the lockdown has encouraged players in the automotive and logistics sectors to implement robotics in their daily operations.