The Pulse360: As Robotics in Manufacturing Grows, So Does Engineers’ Searches for Software Solutions

The use of robotics in manufacturing has become more prevalent worldwide as manufacturers increasingly strive to improve quality and capacity while controlling costs.

As evidence of this growing trend, searches for robotic software on Engineering360.com are up astronomically. Year over year, there was a 2153% increase in searches across the robotic software category, including an increase of 2610% in searches from North America, 1426% in Asia-Pacific (APAC), and 2141% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA.)

Although robotic software searches comprise a relatively small portion of Engineering360.com’s overall traffic, they have increased significantly in step with the growth of the industrial robotics market, which was valued at $18 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $40.75 billion by 2024.

The largest increases in search traffic are among registered users in the automotive, aerospace and defense, and education sectors. Engineering360.com has found that these three sectors are often at the forefront of innovation. The search interest of engineers who work in these sectors may signal that other industries will soon follow.

Robots represent a significant capital investment, but typically only support a single task. The rise in robotic software may point to a desire to add flexibility and efficiencies to existing robots. As factory configurations change, robots can also be repurposed for additional or new tasks.

In addition, robots are increasingly taking on service roles and as collaborative robots, or cobots. As new use cases emerge, so does the need for software to control them.

The robotics industry has grown over time with little standardization of operations, networking or control software. This has resulted in multiple suppliers delivering what often is hybrid technology, and results in engineers having to select from a myriad of choices for their specific application. As standardization becomes more prevalent, robotics software is expected to become more of a commodity product for most applications.

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E-mail: amber.cooleen@IEEEGlobalSpec.com

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