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Robotics in Shipbuilding Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Articulated Robot, Cartesian Robot, SCARA Robot, Cylindrical Robot, and Others), By Application (Handling, Welding, Assembling, Inspection, and Others), By Lifting Capacity (Less than 500 kg, 500 to 1000 kg, and Over 1000 kg), and Regional Forecast, 2023-2030

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103548

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global robotics in shipbuilding market size was valued at USD 1.26 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 1.32 billion in 2023 to USD 1.85 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period.

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Automated robots are used in the shipbuilding industry to conduct the shipbuilding process smoothly. In the past few years, shipbuilders have been trying to automate the shipbuilding process using robot technology, which is expected to drive the robotics in shipbuilding market growth. Integrating robotics in shipbuilding processes has significantly improved efficiency, accuracy, and safety while reducing costs and production time.


Robotics in shipbuilding are used for various applications, such as welding, cutting & machining, assembly, painting, inspection, and material handling. Integrating robotics has transformed the shipping industry by improving productivity, quality, and worker safety. By automating repetitive and physically demanding tasks, robots can allow human workers to focus more on complex and skilled operations. This technology is still evolving and the ongoing advancements are anticipated to create greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the shipbuilding sector.


COVID-19 IMPACT


COVID-19 Negatively Impacted Market Growth Owing to Delayed Shipbuilding Activities Amidst Lockdown


The COVID-19 pandemic had devastated the global economy. Lockdowns imposed in the first and second quarters of 2020 led to severe losses in various sectors, which included the maritime industry. Shipbuilding companies, shipyards, and other suppliers needed to change their working practices to align them with government restrictions, leading to the suspension of shipbuilding operations. For instance, Fincantieri Shipyard, based in Italy, had completely suspended its manufacturing activities from 12th March 2020 to mid-April 2020.


Moreover, the diminished demand for maritime trade and travel led to the cancellation of ship orders. The European shipyards' most successful business division in ship construction is cruise ships. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise ships were anchored and moored due to reduced passenger traffic. This led to delays in cruise deliveries and cancellation of orders in some cases. Hence, due to reduction in manufacturing operations, the demand for robotics in shipbuilding activities decreased during the pandemic.


However, this crisis was expected to be a promoter of digitalization that will create growth opportunities for robotics in the shipbuilding industry. The demand for automating the shipbuilding process increased to bridge the labor gap created during the pandemic.


LATEST TRENDS


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Rise in Demand for Collaborative Robotics is a Prominent Market Trend


The shipbuilding industry is rapidly shifting toward collaborative robots, also known as cobots. The cobots collaborate with humans and make the manufacturing process more efficient. Mobile collaborative robots can move across factories and assist the working staff. Moreover, cobots can also efficiently transport small and large components to the assembly points. Many robot manufacturers are focused on developing technologically advanced collaborative robots. For instance, READY Robotics, a U.S.-based startup, develops collaborative robots that simplify the industrial automation services. The company offers Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) to the manufacturers who get paid monthly ‘wages’ for robots and cobots.


Furthermore, cobots incorporate various measures to make human-robot interactions safer. These robots are equipped with advanced sensors, such as vision systems, proximity sensors, and depth sensors. Owing to their increase in usage and demand, various OEMs are focusing on strategic collaborations for further improvement of cobots. For example, in November 2022, Novarc Technologies Inc., a full-stack robotics company dedicated to developing and commercializing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based vision solutions for cobots, announced its partnership with Lincoln Electric, the world's leading manufacturer of advanced technology, to extend and enhance Novarc's automated cobot tube welding solutions using arc welding solutions and automated joining, assembly, and cutting systems.


DRIVING FACTORS


Increased Usage of Robotics to Plug Labor Gap in Shipbuilding Industry will Boost Market Growth


The shipbuilding industry has relied on skilled workers for painting, welding, and cutting tasks. Conventional methods take a long time to complete these operations. Hence, shipbuilders are using robot technology to decrease time and cost. Shipbuilders also recognize the value of advanced robotics and are trying to reduce their dependence on humans while carrying out dangerous and monotonous tasks. Moreover, robot technology is highly efficient and proving to plug the labor gap in the shipbuilding industry. For example, in January 2023, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) used a new solution to address the shipbuilding industry's ongoing labor and skills shortages. The shipyard announced that it had started rolling out an automatic welding system based on cobot (collaborative robot) technology.


Use of Automation to Streamline Processes in Shipbuilding Industry will Propel Market Growth


Shipbuilding companies are investing heavily in the automation of various operations, such as welding, cutting, painting, and others, to speed up manufacturing and save costs. Many key players, such as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, have adopted welding robots to decrease the manufacturing cost of the ship. For instance, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.’s Geoje Shipyard developed various robot systems such as spider automatic welding robots, wall-climbing robots, vacuum blasting robots, cleaning pipe robots, and inspection robots. Since the adoption of these robots, Geoje Shipyard has recorded 68% production automation rate.


Furthermore, robotics in shipbuilding has streamlined the ship assembly process by automating various tasks. Robots can handle heavy components such as ship sections and engines with high precision and accuracy. This technology can also manage material handling efficiently by using Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and robotic arms, which transport materials, tools, and equipment within the shipyard. Robotics has brought advancement in the welding and fabrication processes by ensuring high-quality and consistent welds. Automation has also improved the welding accuracy, reduced defects, and enhanced the structural integrity of ships, further driving the demand for robotics in shipbuilding processes.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


High Initial Investment and Maintenance Cost May Hinder Market Growth


The initial stage of installing a robotic system includes procurement, integration, accessories, programming, and others. The high capital investment at the initial stage may act as a challenge for some companies. An industrial robotic system that is used in shipbuilding can cost anywhere between USD 50,000 and USD 150,000. The cost of industrial systems, combined with integration and maintenance costs, makes automation a costly investment for small and medium-scale shipbuilders. Several small and medium-scale shipbuilders find it difficult to accumulate a large pool of funds owing to low production volume and slow return on investment.


Developing the necessary control systems, software, and programming for robotics in the marine sector also requires high investment. Training the workforce to operate and maintain robotic systems is an essential part of the implementation of robotics in marine. Moreover, the maintenance cost is also high for the robotic systems, which is expected to hamper the market growth.


SEGMENTATION


By Type Analysis


Articulated Robots will Dominate Market with Rising Demand for Smooth Production Activities


By type, the market is segmented into articulated robots, cartesian robots, SCARA robots, cylindrical robots, and others. The articulated robots segment might dominate the market share and is anticipated to record the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Articulated robots are one of the most commonly used industrial robots in production facilities around the world. Precise programmability facilitates smooth and continuous production at optimum levels.


The cartesian robots segment is anticipated to show significant growth during the forecast period. Such types of robots have a rigid structure and possess the main advantage of moving in multiple linear directions, making it easy to work in shipyards.


By Application Analysis


Robotics to be Widely Used in Handling Applications Owing to Its High Productivity and Safety


The market, by application, is segmented into handling, welding, assembling, inspection, and others. The handling segment dominates the market and is anticipated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. Integrating automated solutions into shipyard facilities can ensure safe material handling processes, high productivity, and safety. Due to increasing safety concern, the segment is anticipated to dominate the market in the coming years.


The welding segment is projected to show significant growth during the forecast period. Automated welding process reduces part-to-part variation or inconsistency when compared with manual welding. Due to this, the shipyards are focusing on implementing robots for welding applications.


By Lifting Capacity Analysis


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Over 1,000 kg Capacity to Dominate Market Due to Lifting of Heavy Materials in Shipyards


The market, by lifting capacity, is segmented into less than 500 kg, 500 to 1,000 kg, and over 1,000 kg. The over 1000 kg segment dominated the market and is estimated to record the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Such robots are used for applications, such as material handling, welding, inspection, and others. With the rise in such applications, the implementation of heavy payload robots is predicted to increase considerably during the study period.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


North America Robotics in Shipbuilding Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)

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In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World.


North America held a significant robotics in shipbuilding market share in 2022. The regional market was valued at USD 0.11 billion in 2022. The adoption of robotics in North America is primarily driven by a notable increase in shipbuilding activities in the region.


Europe is estimated to hold the second-largest market share during the study period. According to Cruise Industry News' annual report, Northern Europe is the fourth largest cruise market, with traffic up 4.4% year-on-year. In addition, Turku Repair Yard, the largest repair shop in Northern Europe in southwestern Finland, is winning new customers outside the Baltic Sea and expanding its service segment for existing customers. Due to such factors, the region is anticipated to show strong growth during the forecast period.


Asia Pacific is expected to showcase the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period. The regional market’s growth can be attributed to the growing investment by key players in the expansion of ship repair facilities as well as shipbuilding capabilities. The integration of robots in shipyards is the largest in China, South Korea, and Japan, which are major contributors to the growth of the Asia Pacific market for robotics in shipbuilding.


The Rest of the World is anticipated to witness moderate growth in the market during the forecast period. Brazil, Argentina, and other countries have emerged as strong competitors for the world's container shipping companies due to diversified cargo trade routes. Increased shipbuilding activity and drydock capacity in the region. For example, dry docks in Dubai and ASRY in Bahrain, operated by DryDocs World Dubai (DWD), have for many years been the only two locations in the Middle East truly suitable for repair and maintenance work on large tankers. Recently, two new shipyards capable of handling Very large cruise ships (VLCC) were added. The development of this region has led to the growth of the market.


KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS


Key Players Focusing on Heavy Investments to Implement Robots in Shipyards to Achieve Competitive Edge in Market


The global market is consolidated with several key players of robotics in shipbuilding such as ABB, Kawasaki Robotics, Kuka, KHI, and Epson, among others. These companies are focusing on the expansion of shipbuilding, repair, and maintenance services and capabilities owing to the increasing demand for robots post-COVID-19 and the backlogs that occurred due to the pandemic. In September 2022, Palantir Technologies Inc. announced that it would significantly expand its partnership with South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Group by transferring the Palantir Foundry to more companies within the conglomerate. Korea Shipbuilding & Ocean Engineering (KSOE) will use the Palantir Foundry operating system at its shipbuilding subsidiaries Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Mipo Shipyards to advance its vision of "The Future of Shipyards."


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:



KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • January 2023 South Korean shipbuilding company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering announced that it developed a collaborative robot (cobot) to improve productivity. Cobots are robots designed for direct human-robot interaction in shared spaces or where humans and robots that work together in close proximity.

  • October 2022 Sarcos conducted USN field trials at the Ventura County Naval Station, California, using the Guardian DX remote operator robot, the Sapien 6M dexterous robot, the Sapien Sea Class underwater robot, and the Guardian remote visual inspection robot.

  • August 2021 Novarc Technologies Inc. announced that it would be showcasing its new spool welding robot + HyperFill technology at next month's FABTECH event in Chicago. Dual torch systems can increase productivity in heavy-duty manufacturing to 350-500 factor inches (FDI) per shift by increasing weld build rates.

  • May 2021 Italian company Fincantieri signed an agreement with Italian robotics company Comau to develop robots and other solutions for shipbuilding and other heavy construction applications. The two companies would work together to develop and test new applications at the Fincantieri shipyard.

  • March 2021 Danish robotic welding specialist Inrotech reported that it received an order from the Pascagoula shipyard for a range of welding robot sets to support the manufacturing of the Coast Guard’s Polar Security Cutter (PSC) including the Inrotech Classic, Inrotech Microtwin, and Inrotech Crawler. Inrotech's automated robotic welding solutions are specifically designed to meet Halter Marine's production requirements.


REPORT COVERAGE


An Infographic Representation of Robotics in Shipbuilding Market

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The research report provides detailed market research and analysis. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities, supply chain management, competitive landscape, and optimization of manufacturing capabilities and operating services. Moreover, the report offers insights into the latest market trends, market dynamics, market size, market share of robotics in shipbuilding, and market segment analysis. It also highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market’s Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in recent years.


Report Scope & Segmentation






















































  ATTRIBUTE



  DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2030



Base Year



2022



Estimated Year



2023



Forecast Period



2023-2030



Historical Period



2019-2021



Growth Rate



CAGR of 4.9% from 2023 to 2030



Unit



Value (USD Billion)



Segmentation



By Type, Application, Lifting Capacity, and Geography



By Type  



  • Articulated Robots

  • Cartesian Robots

  • SCARA Robots

  • Cylindrical Robots

  • Others



By Application



  • Handling

  • Welding

  • Assembling

  • Inspection

  • Others



By Lifting Capacity



  • Less than 500 kg

  • 500 to 1000 kg

  • Over 1000 kg




  • North America (By Type, Application, Lifting Capacity, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)



  • Europe (By Type, Application, Lifting Capacity, and Country)

    • France (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • Netherlands (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Norway (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)



  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application, Lifting Capacity, and Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • South Korea (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)



  • Rest of the World (By Type, Application, Lifting Capacity, and Country)

    • Latin America ((By Type)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Type)








Frequently Asked Questions

As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 1.26 billion in 2022.

The market is likely to record a CAGR of 4.9% over the forecast period of 2023-2030.

The articulated robots segment is expected to lead the market growth due to the increasing demand for improved efficiency.

The market size in North America stood at USD 0.11 billion in 2022.

Increased usage of robotics technology to plug labor gap in shipbuilding industry will boost market growth.

Some of the major players in the market are ABB, The Fanuc Corporation, Comau, Yaskawa America, Inc., and others.

China dominated the global market in 2022.

High initial investment cost and maintenance cost may hinder the market growth.

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