While it’s absolutely true that there are many industrial robot manufacturers operating today, there are four major organizations that stand head and shoulders above the rest. FANUC, YASKAWA, KUKA and ABB each bring something wholly unique to the table that is absolutely worth a closer look.
By far one of the most prominent robot manufacturers operating anywhere in the world today is FANUC, based out of Japan. Starting in the late 1970s, FANUC has been a professional CNC manufacturer operating on a global scale. Their industrial robots offer a wide array of benefits over competitors, including the fact that their process control is more convenient. They are also known for the unique arm design of their robots.
But their real competitive advantage is that their solutions are highly accurate, thanks largely to the strength of the underlying CNC system. It’s been estimated that the company’s multi-functional six-axis small robot can consistently hit a positioning accuracy of within just 0.02 millimeters.
FANUC is currently the largest robotics, CNC systems and factory automation organization operating anywhere in the world today. As of 2019 it was estimated to hold approximately 17.5% of the global market share.
Another notable name in the industry is YASKAWA, currently the largest industrial robotics company operating with an emphasis on the Japanese market. During the late 1970s, YASKAWA developed its first fully electrified industrial robot, dubbed MOTOMAN, all powered by its own proprietary motion control technology.
The major benefit that YASKAWA’s solutions bring with them is one of cost-effectiveness. By being the cheapest among these four major companies, their industrial robots also have a high price to performance ratio.
Over the last few years YASKAWA has been paying particular attention to applications in the medical robotics field, which is said to potentially bring with it new growth opportunities in the United States service robot market. As of 2019 it was estimated that YASKAWA had roughly 12% of the worldwide market share.
KUKA was originally founded in Germany in 1898, and it began life as an organization focused on interior and urban lighting solutions. Since pivoting into industrial robotics and automation, some of its main customers have come from the automotive industry. In terms of car design and development, the company’s systems have been used for everything from the production of individual pieces of equipment to the assembly of complete body structures. Manufacturers like BMW, GM and Volkswagen are some of KUKA’s biggest customers in this sector.
As of 2019, KUKA was tied with ABB as the second largest company of its type and a 13.5% global market share. North America, however, is KUKA’s largest market.
Based out of Switzerland, ABB’s core focus is on developing superior motion control systems – something that also happens to be the biggest challenge when it comes to maintaining the integrity of industrial robotics. Thanks to this focus, ABB has been able to make significant gains in terms of robot performance in terms of factors like the precision of the path they’re able to take, the speed at which they can move, their cycle time and more.
As of 2019, ABB was tied as the second largest industrial robot manufacturer in operation, with roughly 13.5% of the global market share.
If nothing else, variety of different projects on display here go a long way towards illustrating just how versatile industrial robotics have become. Automotive manufacturing, electronics production, transportation, you name it – there isn’t a company on this list who hasn’t contributed to some truly innovative projects over the last few years.
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