Universal Robots Looking to Target South Korea’s Collaborative Robot Market

Mar 30, 2018

Universal Robots, which is the number one collaborative robot manufacturer in the world, is planning to strengthen its business on South Korean market.
“South Korea is the world’s third biggest industrial robot market.” said Regional Director Sakari Ikuikka of Universal Robots (UR) APAC Region during his interview with The Electronic Times after landing in South Korea on the 28th. “We are going to actively target South Korea’s collaborative robot market through our differentiated competitive edge from every aspect such as product and service.”
Universal robots has 58% of shares of global collaborative robot markets. According to an upward trend of global collaborative robot markets, it made $170 million in sales in 2017 that is 72% higher compared to the previous year.
South Korea’s collaborative robot market is still in a beginning stage. European market, where dissemination of collaborative robots is active, is responsible for about half of UR’s sales while Asia-Pacific region and North American market are each responsible for about 25%.
However, potential for growth within Asia-Pacific region is high as many large-scale industrial robot markets are lined up in China, Japan, and South Korea. South Korean Government is currently deregulating to install robots without fences. It is expecting that its collaborative robot market will start to grow as many large corporations such as Doosan and Hanwha are jumping into this industry.
“Degree of importance of Asian markets is rising as collaborative robot has become a huge motive for automation within various industries.” said Director Kuikka. “Fact that large corporations are also working on this business will bring out positive effects for growth of entire market.”
Fact that UR recently released a Korean version of ‘UR Academy’, which is a free online platform for experiencing and learning about collaborative robots, also indicates that UR is planning to step up its business within South Korean market. This platform allows even normal students to learn about ways to use collaborative robots for free. Director Kuikka emphasized that ‘democratization’, which allows anyone to use collaborative robots, is at the center of growth of collaborative robot market.
UR is pushing to create an ecosystem based on collaborative robot in South Korea. It is currently discussing with 10 South Korean developers about their participation within Universal Robots+. This program is UR’s strategy to help with combining various solutions such as accessory and software that maximize use of robots with UR’s robots.
250 companies from all over the world are already participating in this program.
UR is also looking to increase number of retail stores and enhance its capabilities in providing services. By establishing a maintenance center in China followed by the U.S. in last year, it has raised level of satisfaction from its customers after they purchase UR’s products.
“Although Korean version of UR Academy is somewhat late compared to how important South Korean market is to UR, we are going to swiftly push for businesses that will enhance our business within South Korea in the future.”
Staff Reporter Oh, Daeseok | ods@etnews.com

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