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Industry report robotics and automation 2008 to 2020

Robotics and automation grow significantly faster than machinery industry

Production and sales of the sector robotics and automation are compared with the machinery industry and the position of the four product segments in the industry is shown.

Update November 15th, 2021 - Production and sales in the robotics and automation sector are developing significantly above average compared to the machinery industry. This can be seen at first glance in the following diagram.

The production of robotics and automation grows from 2011, after the global economic crisis of 2008/2009 was overcome, until 2020 by an average of +2.5% per year. By contrast, machinery industry's production is not growing but declining by -1.0% per year over this period.

Production and sales of the sector robotics and automation from 2008 to 2020.

Sales of robotics and automation even grow by +3.7% per year from 2011 to 2020, while those of the machinery industry almost stagnate at +0.3% per year.

The robotics and automation sector is one of the growth sectors in the machinery industry. It is developing well above average in terms of both production and sales compared with the machinery industry.

The indices1 are of course based on real values2. In 2020, sales of robotics and automation machines total to €5.1 bn for 66,300 machines.

The product segments of robotics and automation and their shares at production and value

The four product segments are coining the sector to a different extent. In 2020 30,000 items of industrial robots constitute 45% of the total number of items of the sector, while their proportional value is relatively low with 17% and a value of €0.9bn.

Pieces and sales of the product segments in robotics and automation 2020.

The 6,700 assembly lines indicate the lowest share of the pieces volume with 10% but the highest proportional value with 39% and a volume of €2.0bn.

Assembly lines show increasing, industrial robots, assembly automats and assembly machines constant average values

Combining the items of production and their value, we obtain the average value per machine in euro. This feature indicates how strongly a machine is positioned in the market.

On trend, only assembly lines show increasing average values since 2008.

Average value per machine in euro in robotics and automation from 2008 to 2020.

Machines for assembly automation and assembly machines show constant average values in the trend since 2008.

The averag value of industrial robots also remains constant in the trend. One reasons for this development is in-house solutions of robots by those machine-builders that use robots in larger numbers of items.


Robotics and automation is a dynamic growth sector in the German machinery industry. It is one of the drivers of efficiency improvement. The position of industrial robots for increasing efficiency would improve even more if the official statistics took into account the machine builders' own solutions for robots.


1 The sector Robotics and Automation covers the four product segments industrial robots, assembling machines, assembly automats and assembly lines. The fifth product segment, manipulating devices, is incompletely presented in the official production statistics1, therefore it is excluded here.

2 The official statistics determines value as production, evaluated to selling prices without value added tax. So the difference to the turnover lies mainly in changes of inventories, i.e. value may be understood as turnover with good approximation.

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