Robot sales increase despite the pandemic

11 Feb 2021

Industrial robot sales were up 7.5% on last year, with 1,931 robots sold in 2020 compared to 1,797 robots sold in 2019. 
While the automotive sector has been one of the hardest-hit sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent BARA survey of robot manufacturers and distributors found that the auto-sector topped the industry sectors’ league table during Q4 for industrial robots sold in the UK. 
The data also found that the largest growth derived from food and beverage, which resulted in a 35% increase in sales over 2019. The F&B sector reached a new high in terms of robots purchased and was the second largest sector (behind automotive), overtaking ‘automotive component parts’ for the first time.
This heightened interest in industrial robots has been seen by robot vendors and systems’ integrators alike. Despite the UK’s current economic position due to Covid-19, it is remarkable that sales increased at all. The automation industry, however, is expecting the trend to accelerate as UK manufacturing responds to the challenges of Brexit and the health pandemic. 
When evaluating Q4 with Q2 and Q3 of 2020, robot sales in the UK increased by 52%. 370 industrial robots were sold for delivery in the UK during Q4, which was 52% (244) higher than in Q2 and 47% (252) higher than in Q3.
The upward trend continued through to the export market too, with 79 robots sold during Q4 of 2020, which equates to almost a 100% increase on Q1 and an 88% and 49% uplift on Q2 and Q3 of 2020.