Tianjin's Robotic Industry Poised to Reach $1.8B by 2020: Report
Tianjin's robotics industry is expected to produce a total of 60,000 robots yearly, valued at about 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) by the end of the decade, the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Industry and Information Technology said.
Robots have attracted interests in Tianjin after an underwater machine made by a local company makes cleaning the bottom of ships possible. The robot even bagged a prize at an innovation competition last month, China Daily reported.
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"The working efficiency of the underwater robot could be enhanced by three times compared with manual work. The robot can be widely applied to large ships, propellers, and precision instrument for offshore exploration," Zhang Yang, general manager of Tianjin OSTAR Underwater Vehicles Co Ltd., said, adding that it has already received orders from China National Offshore Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.
The annual sales of the underwater robots are expected to reach as much as 16 million yuan ($2.38 million), accounting for 80 percent of the company's annual sales, China Post reported.
Currently, Tianjin has over 100 robot manufacturing plants with annual capacities of more than 1,000 robots. Its robot industry is valued at 3 billion yuan ($446.6 million).
"The robot industry in Tianjin is to be a new springboard for the economic growth based on the advantages of a strong local industrial foundation," Li Chaoxing, director of the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Industry and Information Technology, said.
Meanwhile, foreign industrial robot makers are also eyeing for a share of China's robot industry. Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries is planning to put up a factory in Chongqing, China, to produce collaborative robots for tasks including assembling devices and packing boxes.
On the other hand, Apple's main assembly supplier Foxconn has so far installed 40,000 production robots in the mainland. Its robots called the Foxbots are being built in Taiwan, Shenzhen, and Jingzhen, with a strong production capacity of 10,000 units per annum.