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Korea hits new record of 300,000 industrial robots in operation - IFR reports

Frankfurt (ots)

The World Robotics report presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) shows a new record stock of about 300,000 operational industrial robots in the Republic of Korea in 2018 (+10%). Within five years, the country has doubled its number of industrial robots. Following Japan and China, the country ranked third in 2018. But the dynamics of robot installations has decreased in recent years and for 2019 a continued decrease is expected. "Robot installations declined by 5% to 37,807 units in 2018," says Junji Tsuda, President of the International Federation of Robotics. "Both, the electrical/electronics industry and the automotive industry reduced installations - together they account for 82% of total demand."

Trade dispute

South Korea is affected by the US-China trade dispute: China is an important export destination for Korea´s intermediate products. The conflict could result in decreasing demand from China. In contrast, Korean products might substitute Chinese products. But currently, the South Korean economy is in troubled waters. In the long run, the extensive use of robots is vital in order to maintain competitiveness. Korea's population is ageing rapidly. This helps to explain why South Korea has already embraced robots, where "robot density" in manufacturing ranks second place in the world - following Singapore.

Korea´s Workforce Development

The Workforce Development and Training Act, updated in 2019, is one important initiative in a series of government- driven programs. People get support to develop skills of how to handle robots and automated machines. The "Smart Manufacturing Innovation Strategy" announced the build-up of 50,000 smart factory workers by 2022. Press release full lengths:

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