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Ash Sharma

Ash has spent more than 15 years in technology research on several sectors, including industrial automation and smart manufacturing, smart home, solar power and energy storage, drones and robotics, medical technology and building automation. Ash is Research Director for our commercial drone & robotics research, amongst other topics. Read more

Our recent research report on the mobile robot industry identified close to 100 vendors globally. Analyzing 60 of the largest, revealed that the leading supplier of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) last year was Dematic. The supplier base is relatively fragmented with the top 10 vendors having captured just over half of the market in 2017. Dematic, which is owned by the KION Group and includes the AGV business of Egemin and NDC Automation, was by far the largest supplier of mobile robots in 2017, yet still captured just 10 percent of industry revenues last year.

Top 10 Mobile Robot Vendors

The figure below shows the top 10 mobile robot vendors (in alphabetical order) based on 2017 revenues from AGV/AMR sales only.

Top 10 Mobile Robot Vendors

Despite the large number of mergers and acquisitions that have occurred in recent years, the supplier base remains relatively fragmented with dozens of new entrants and start-ups joining the fray. Aside from Dematic, no supplier held a double-digit share of the market last year. and the top 10 companies accounted for just 50 percent of total industry revenues.

Chinese suppliers were rarely mentioned during our research interviews yet feature highly in the top 10. Siasun was ranked second largest vendor in 2017 and three of the other top ten suppliers were Chinese. Their limited visibility to date is somewhat unsurprising, as Chinese AGV/AMR vendors’ revenues outside of China have been almost zero to date as they focus on the rapidly expanding and large domestic Chinese market. This situation is very likely to change in the future however, as the companies target international markets with more vigour.

Chinese & US Suppliers Dominate

Given that half of the total mobile robot revenues are currently generated in the US and China, it is somewhat unsurprising that a similar proportion of revenues were generated by suppliers headquartered in these countries. We identified a large number of Chinese companies that have recently entered the mobile robot market. The Chinese government’s push towards and support for automation and greater manufacturing efficiency is likely to lead to increased success for a number of these companies.

Mobile Robot Vendor Location

Established, “Pure-Play” Vendors Dominate the Industry

Given the high level of engineering expertise needed to integrate a mobile robot system effectively, it is perhaps not surprising that companies that only offer AGV or AMR systems dominate the market and accounted for nearly half of all revenues last year. Similarly, companies that are purely focused on logistics systems and offer solutions such as ASRS (automated storage and retrieval systems), conveyors and palletizers also have a large share of the mobile robot market.

We identified more than 20 start-ups (those who have been shipping fewer than 5 years), and last year they held a relatively modest share of industry revenues. If these companies can execute on their ambitious growth plans, however, their share of the market could increase from 12% to 15-25% by the end of 2018.

Mobile Robot Vendor Type

M&A Activity to Continue

We predict longer-term consolidation in the mobile robot industry, as established industrial vendors seek to capitalize on the high growth of this sector through acquisition. Defensive acquisitions from vendors with older technology displaced by mobile robots (e.g. forklift suppliers) have already occurred and are predicted to continue.

A summary of some recent acquisitions is shown below:

Mobile Robot M&A

Related Research

The above analysis is taken from a new Interact Analysis report – “Mobile Robots – 2018“, an in-depth report on mobile robots used in material handling applications which was published last month. If you’d like to learn more about the report or have any questions, please contact us at info@interactanalysis.com

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Posted by Ash Sharma

Ash has spent more than 15 years in technology research on several sectors, including industrial automation and smart manufacturing, smart home, solar power and energy storage, drones and robotics, medical technology and building automation. Ash is Research Director for our commercial drone & robotics research, amongst other topics. Read more