Cobot Market Boom Lifts Universal Robots’ Fortunes in 2016

In the News
March 07, 2017

ODENSE, Denmark — The demand for collaborative robots is strong, particularly in Europe. Proof can be found in the explosive growth of Universal Robots A/S since the company launched its first cobot in 2008. In 2016 alone, UR’s revenue reached an estimated 662 million Danish krone ($94 million U.S.) and delivered a profit of DKK 92 million ($13 million) before tax, reflecting the booming cobot market.

Universal Robots‘ revenue has increased at a rate of 60 to 90 percent each year, from $5.6 million (DKK 40 million) in 2011 to $59.3 million (DKK 417 million) in 2015, according to Denmark’s Central Business Register.

According to the Odense-based company, its success can be attributed to the safety, flexibility, and the short payback time of its robotic arms. Universal Robots’ products do not require safety cages, can work side by side with humans, and have been implemented in factories and other facilities around the world.

Business Takeaways:

  • As the global cobot market continues to grow, Universal Robots has experienced rapid rises in revenue and size year over year.
  • The Danish company has been nurturing a robotics ecosystem, both to help educate end users and to maintain its market leadership.
  • Universal Robots executives said they expect particularly strong collaborative robotics growth in small and midsize enterprises and in the Asia-Pacific region.

A view of the cobot market

“We use four or five research companies to look at data, and of course they all vary,” said Jürgen von Hollen, who became president of Universal Robots last October. “We also analyze our revenues and sales to see the robotics market. We believe that the market will grow from $150 million to $180 million in 2016 by between 60 and 75 percent over the next year.”

“We expect the market to be at least $2 billion by 2020,” he told Robotics Business Review. “That’s a very large market from where we started.”

“In the collaborative space, research organizations have our market share at 50 percent, but we believe we’re around 60 to 65 percent market share,” claimed von Hollen. “Our focus as a company is to maintain that market share and take advantage of overall market growth.”

One challenge facing collaborative robots is that...

Continue Reading