At the moment, China has 30 industrial robots for every 10,000 manufacturing workers—about double what it had in 2013.
Experts refer to this figure "robot density." In comparison, South Korea has the world's highest robot density at 437 robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers, which is about 15 times greater than China's. Japan's is about 11 times greater than China's; Germany's is 10 times higher; and the United States' is about three times higher.
"The automation of China's production plants has just started", ABB Robotics managing director Per Vegard Nerseth told IFR in January
. "As the first foreign robot manufacturer to arrive here, we have observed the market and developments for years now. We have witnessed swift, almost explosive growth over the last two or three years, surpassing even our expectations."
Industry watchers are expecting major growth to continue in Asian markets such as China, Korea, and other Southeast Asian countries. As the IFR forecasts, "The potential for robot installations in this market is still tremendous."