The impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and the outlook for 2020

- Apr 13, 2020-

The outbreak is during the Spring Festival, and the outbreak has caused problems such as difficulty in restarting factory work, blocked logistics and transportation, and shortage of raw material inventory, which have put great pressure on the robot industry chain.What are the specific impacts of the outbreak on the Chinese robot market?Will the market fall further in 2020?This paper tries to analyze these problems in detail.

I. the impact of the epidemic on the industrial robot market

1.1 analysis of the impact of the epidemic on the overall market of industrial robots in China:

Shipments and forecast of industrial robots in China from 2015 to 2020 (Taiwan)

MIR rui industry: the impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and 2020 outlook


Demand for industrial robots has declined for four consecutive quarters since growth slowed sharply in 2018 and turned from positive to negative in the second half of the year.In the second half of 2019, under the background of stable investment in lithium power and photovoltaic, warmer 3C and accelerated 5G construction, and accelerated landing of new energy vehicle projects, the demand for robots shows a recovery trend.In 2020, the industrial robot market was expected to see double-digit growth with the increase of 3C demand (5G replacement wave + apple investment year) and the beginning of the winter and spring with high probability of the auto industry, but the outbreak of the new epidemic made this prediction too optimistic.However, as the epidemic enters a stable stage, the demand of the downstream industry will be released in stages, and the government is expected to promote the implementation of relevant economic stimulus measures, the industrial robot market will gradually improve, and the annual growth rate is expected to be around 5%.

Quarterly growth rate and forecast of China's industrial robots in 2018-2020

MIR rui industry: the impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and 2020 outlook


L outbreak of the epidemic, for the beginning of 2020 cast a shadow, the first quarter of the market demand was a precipitous decline.According to MIR, with such intensive prevention and control measures nationwide, the epidemic will be effectively controlled in the second quarter with a high probability.At that time as the enterprise's full return to work, the market demand will be gradually released in the second and third quarters.To some extent, the labor shortage under the outbreak will further stimulate manufacturing enterprises to improve the level of automation and speed up the process of machine replacement.In addition, the government is expected to introduce a number of economic stimulus measures in the second half of the year, and with the accelerated implementation of 5G technology, the growth industries such as new energy, medical care, semiconductor, etc., will lead to a wave of explosive growth in the robot industry in the second half of 2020.

1.2 impact of the epidemic on major downstream industries of industrial robots

Under the new epidemic situation, the delay of national holidays, the difficulty of restarting factory work and the disruption of logistics and transportation will undoubtedly cause short-term impact to the downstream industry of industrial robots to different degrees. Of course, some subsectors, such as medical supplies and logistics, also benefit.

Growth rate of robot products in major industries

MIR rui industry: the impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and 2020 outlook


L complete vehicle:

After the prolonged downturn in the auto industry, production capacity and inventory have been adjusted. With the increasingly strong expectation of the stimulus policy for auto consumption, it was expected that the industry could achieve positive growth in 2020.However, due to the epidemic, offline sales have cooled, and the auto industry's original forecast of "Indian summer" in 2020 will no longer be affected, even in the second quarter.At the manufacturing end, affected by the delay in the resumption of work, the main engine plant and parts manufacturers are facing the pressure of insufficient capacity.Because the industrial chain of auto parts is relatively short, it is affected greatly, which affects the production schedule of main engine plants.Especially in hubei province, where the epidemic is more serious, there are many mainstream host manufacturers such as dongfeng Honda, saic general motors and a large number of Tier1 suppliers such as Bosch, TRW, Johnson controls, etc., which may even delay the resumption of work to march or April due to the epidemic.MIR expects that the market performance in the first half and the second half may be significantly different, the investment in the auto industry in the first half of the year will be negatively affected, the second half may return to the right track, and there may be a good growth.In addition, the outbreak is likely to stimulate the release of market demand for private cars in the second half of the year, and the early purchase of cars by first-time buyers, prompting car companies to increase production capacity and implement investment plans.Overall, the robot market in the automotive industry is expected to fall by around 4% in 2020.

L 3 c:

3C is a labor-intensive enterprise, and it is difficult to resume work. Take mobile phone products as an example, both the demand side and the supply side will be affected by the epidemic.On the demand side, the epidemic has a direct impact on offline sales. For example, at present, apple only tentatively opens some direct-sale stores, and the business hours are greatly shortened.OPPO, VIVO sales rely on offline, or will be a big impact.Demand for smartphones will be curbed in the short term in the first quarter of 2020, with shipments expected to fall by more than 40%.On the supply side, the epidemic has a negative impact on the mobile phone industry supply chain (mainly reflected in the impact on the production process of new models).Although huawei resumed work on February 3, the resumption of work is not equal to the resumption of production, due to supply chain constraints, huawei is not able to fully restore the original capacity.In addition, foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer of iphones, is not happy about returning to work.MIR understands that after the epidemic stabilizes, the whole industrial chain will work overtime to catch up with orders. The investment plan this year will delay the scale, and it is expected to be released in the second and third quarters.

Despite the outbreak in the first quarter, 2020 is not changing the growth of 5G phone replacement year. Xiaomi released 5G phone mi 10 in February, and huawei will release 5G folding phone Mate Xs in the first quarter.In addition, apple is expected to release a cheaper version of the iPhone in March, which is expected to continue to win back market share in China by cutting prices.In addition to the new machine drive, due to the consumer electronics industry's own consumption attributes and seasonal characteristics, the first quarter revenue accounted for a small proportion of the year, will be through the later quarter to make up for the impact of the weak season, the first quarter demand will be deferred to the peak season.Overall, the annual growth rate is expected to be in single digits.

L medical supplies:

Under the epidemic situation, medical related industries directly benefit, especially the medical consumables industry. The demand for masks, goggles, protective clothing and other products is in short supply, and the demand for industrial robots in sorting, packaging and other application scenarios increases.Take mask as an example, at present, mainly through the production of special mask equipment, due to the mask material is soft, it is not easy to achieve automatic material handling, after the packaging is often manual operation, seriously restricted the capacity of mask factory.Industrial robots have been widely used in the field of rear packaging. At present, many mask factories are looking for the automation transformation of the rear packaging end.Domestic robot manufacturers have also launched targeted automation solutions, such as using industrial robots combined with conveyor belt tracking and visual recognition technology to achieve automatic mask packaging.

Because of its flexibility, the packaging of medical supplies is still a labor-intensive industry, and some production scenes have specific requirements for health and safety, so it is not suitable for manual operation. In the future, there is a large replacement space for robots in this field.At present, Delta or SCARA robots are mostly used on the packaging line for material sorting, sorting, box loading, packing, bar code labeling and other operations, while six-axis robots are used for handling and palletizing operations.The outbreak will raise the industry's awareness of robots and accelerate the replacement process in the medical industry.


The year 2020 is likely to be the year of the last batch of newly added photovoltaic subsidies in China, and the domestic market will usher in the "ultimate rush to install".Although the epidemic situation has a negative impact on the construction schedule of bidding projects and makes the photovoltaic industry face the pressure of rushing to install, it only affects the backward demand and does not affect the total demand.In addition, due to the early introduction of the photovoltaic bidding policy before the Spring Festival this year, enterprises' preparation and construction time is relatively sufficient, and some of the existing projects carried forward to 2020 in 2019, the number of new photovoltaic installations will continue to grow throughout the year.And the first quarter is a traditional slow season for the photovoltaic industry, which will soon be absorbed as companies return to work.Moreover, the outbreak is likely to accelerate the reshuffle of the photovoltaic industry.During the outbreak, the rapid elimination of small businesses, which are more affected by personnel and cash flow, helps to increase the concentration of the industry.

On the eve of the complete elimination of subsidies, photovoltaic enterprises have been "scrambling" to speed up and speed up production capacity, which will bring more application opportunities for industrial robots, especially the application of ultra-high speed SCARA, such as the application of robots in the cleaning of silicon wafers, the loading and unloading of the welding machine, and the queue and so on.

1.3 forecast for the growth of industrial robot models in 2020

L MIR predicts that the overall market growth rate of industrial robots in China will be 5% in 2020. From the perspective of models, the growth rate of Delta, Collaborative and SCARA products will be higher than the overall average growth rate.

Among them, the highest growth rate is Delta: with the advantages of compact structure, high speed, high precision and flexible operation, Delta will greatly increase the demand in the electronics, food, daily chemicals, medical supplies and other industries in the future.

L the second is collaboration: with the continuous improvement and optimization of products by collaborating manufacturers, such as current loop control, large load, visual integration, force control system, AGV on collaboration and other technological innovations, future collaboration application scenarios will be expanded to more areas.This outbreak will also accelerate the collaborative market's exploration of applications in downstream segments, such as medical material distribution, packaging of medical products in boxes, unmanned logistics between factories and workshops, and unmanned retail.

The demand for l SCARA is expected to be released: 2020 is a big year for apple's investment, and the epidemic situation will not change the trend of 5G replacement trend. Driven by the demand of 3C industry, the growth rate of SCARA market is expected to turn from negative to positive, higher than the average growth rate.In addition, lithium, photovoltaic, semiconductor, automotive electronics, medical industry will also have different degrees of SCARA market promotion.

Growth rate of industrial robot extension products

MIR rui industry: the impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and 2020 outlook


Ii. Impact of the epidemic on the mobile robot market

Mobile robot definition

MIR rui industry: the impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and 2020 outlook


At present, China's mobile robot market is mainly dominated by agvs.The AMR and MOMA markets are in their infancy and develop rapidly. Currently, they are still dominated by foreign brands.Mobile robots are mainly used in logistics, and are also used in 3C, medical and education industries.Since 2015, jd, sf and taobao have been exploring unmanned logistics systems, but they have not been popularized on a large scale due to the impact of technology and cost.From 2017 to 2019, mobile robots maintained steady growth, with a compound growth rate of around 20%.

2017-2022 China mobile robot market scale and forecast (Taiwan)

MIR rui industry: the impact of the new epidemic on the robot market and 2020 outlook


Mobile robot technology has been constantly upgraded, and now it has been able to realize autonomous planning path, intelligent obstacle avoidance, and long-distance transport across the factory.Mobile robots can be charged automatically, and in extreme production environments can replace manual labor to complete the distribution of heavy physical materials and dangerous operations, so as to improve production efficiency and ensure production safety.In the worst-affected areas, it can replace the medical staff on the frontline of the epidemic, effectively reduce the contact between people and reduce the risk of infection.This outbreak will accelerate the exploration of unmanned distribution and unmanned chemical plants by robot enterprises. Unmanned logistics, which focuses on safety, efficiency and real-time service, will see the development. The demand for mobile robots will increase rapidly.