Yaskawa Electric, one of the worlds’s largest makers of industrial robots, reported a 150% spike in net profit for the six-months ended Sept. 30, compared with the same period last year.
The Japanese company posted a company-record $184 million profit for the period, citing demand for its industrial robots in China, Japan and the U.S., according to an Oct. 24 report by the Nikkei Asian Review.
Yaskawa provides automation products and setups for operations such as arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material handling and cutting. It also owns the Motoman brand of industrial robot and attributed the growth to increased orders for automation equipment from China, Japan and the U.S. Many of the robots were needed for the manufacture of smartphones and other electronics products, the company said.
Founded in 1989, the Motoman Robotics division of Yaskawa America claims more than 360,000 Motoman robots installed globally.
Yaskawa Electric president Hiroshi Ogasawara predicts that market for robots and other devices will rise in the future.
“Automation demand among Chinese manufacturers will continue to grow,” he said.
This year, industrial robot makers are projected to sell 346,000 units, an 18 percent increase compared with 2016. China, the Republic of Korea and Japan are the top-three buyers of robots, according to the Germany-based International Federation of Robotics.
Robot sales reached about $13.1 billion in 2016 and auto makers are the largest buyers of such technology. The total value including software and other related business increases the estimated market to $40 billion, the IFR reported.
In addition to Yaskaw, the robotic market is dominated by players such as Fanuc and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, both based in Japan, and Switzerland-based ABB Ltd.