The global automated guided vehicle market was worth USD 2.41 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 14.18 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 31.4% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). Lights-out automation has been the aimed result for various manufacturing facilities. Lights-out automation involves in fully automated systems for various components in manufacturing. Warehouses run completely based on automation which eliminates the need for additional costs for lighting. A majority of the factories have been trying to limit human intervention, to limit the scope for errors and increase productivity.
- The retail industry's growth is primarily driven by the increasing demand from e-commerce, primarily for automated warehouse solutions. According to the e-commerce Europe report, the region's online-sales increased by 13% in 2019, and total sales were valued at EUR 621 billion, and the concentration of the market is expected to be focused in Western Europe, a majority of the turnover from the B2C platform is from the region (66%). Owing to such developments, vendors in the market are increasingly adopting automation.
- For instance, ThyssenKrupp's material handling division is investing over EUR 70 million in its European warehousing and logistics network. Its new logistics centre is expected to be built in Rotenburg/ Wumme (Lower Saxony), with an area of 36,000 square meters and store up to 20,000 metric ton of materials. Such developments in the region are driving the demand for AGVs.
- The automotive industry is increasingly adopting automation and AGVs in its production floors. For instance, the SEAT plant in Martorell, Spain, is moving toward a digitalized and smart factory, and the manufacturer adopted AGVs with SLAM navigation, 4G connection, and induction battery charging. Till date, the facility adopted eight AGVs for outdoor operation and has over 200 AGVs that deliver parts inside the assembly workshops at the Martorell and Barcelona factories.
Automated Guided Vehicle Market Key Trends
Automation to Drive the Market Growth
- Owing to rapid technological advancements in robotics and automation, the manufacturing sector has witnessed increased adoption of robotics engineering and technology into its production process. Manufacturers are considering factors such as load, orientation, speed, precision, duty cycle, travel, and environment before selecting the robot that will give the most effective and profitable results in their manufacturing plant.
- An articulated robot is one of the most discussed types of industrial robots. It resembles a human arm in its mechanical configuration. Articulated robots having six degrees of freedom are the most commonly used industrial robots as the design offers maximum flexibility and its use in various applications such as food packaging, automotive assembly, forging application, etc.
- DHL Supply Chain, a division of Deutsche Post DHL, uses AGVs and robots in its warehouses. The company is looking forward to automating one of its labor-intensive tasks, i.e., manual picking at its warehouse. For this, the company is working with Robomotive, an industrial automation specialist in the Netherlands, to create a robot cell that performs de-palletizing, picking, and order-fulfillment functions.
- Staubli Faverges SCA is a manufacturing robotics and a mechatronics supplying company and they are recognized for their magnificence, reliable strategies for over a century. This robot improves productivity without reducing floor space and hence making it perfect for low-volume production with increase in the market growth.
Asia-Pacific is expected to Witness a Significant Growth
- Asia-Pacific is the largest consumer of AGVs in the world. Easy availability of affordable automation services is due to the highly fragmented market and increasing production in the automobile sector is boosting the demand for AGVs in this region. The transportation segment is accounted for the major share in this region due to the rapid urbanization and increased industrial production.
- Vehicle automation, as with any other automation, requires good feedback and information about the status of vehicle operation to close the loop in automation control. MTS Temposonic sensors are rugged and reliable in Off-Highway applications, and with more than 15 years of field experience across construction, agriculture, and municipal vehicles, MTS sensors are at the forefront of vehicle automation in Asia-Pacific.
- With the increasing e-commerce demand in emerging countries such as India, China, and neighboring countries, the e-commerce companies have significantly been deploying AGVs at the warehouses. For instance, in late 2019, Flipkart has announced to 340 small AGVs at its warehouse in India.
- Amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 across the region, hospitals have also been seen increasingly using AGVs for delivering medicines to the patients while reducing human interventions. For instance, in March 2020, Homagama Base Hospital in Sri Lanka has mentioned of deploying AVG for assisting the treatment of persons suspected for COVID-19 virus.
The global automated guided vehicle is moderately fragmented owing to the presence of many automated guided vehicle (AGV) market players. Factors such as the digital transformation and the advent of integrated Industry 4.0 with IoT, will provide considerable growth opportunities to automated guided vehicle industries. Key players are Amerden Inc., Swisslog Holding, SSI Schaefer Systems International DWC LLC, etc. Recent developments in the market are -
- March 2020 - Seegrid Corporation has announced to raise USD 25 million in an equity funding round led by venture capital firm G2VP. The company has mentioned that the funding is driven due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and industry requires non-essential workers to adhere to social distancing along with plenty of industrial roles that need people to be physically present.
- February 2020 - China-based robotics firm - Geek+ specialized in robotics technologies for logistics, has announced to expand its operations in the United States. The company has inaugurated its office in California to manage robotic warehouse and smart factory projects in the country.
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