Laboratory robotics is an act of using robots in life science, chemistry, and pharmaceutical laboratories to perform tasks which are beyond human capabilities such as continuous productivity and safety. Laboratory automation is the prominent segment in robotics field. Robots can perform task three to four times faster than humans and can work up to 24 hours a day. They can produce large quantity of products such as pharmaceutical drugs in a short time span. Robots can work to a high precision, which exceed accuracy which any human can provide. Automation of pharmaceutical industry reduces the human labor and lowers the production cost. Advanced robotics can be used to automate the laboratory processes such as pick/place, liquid and solid addition, heating, cooling, mixing, and shaking. Increasing use of robots in pharmaceutical companies for drug sorting, dispensing, and kit assembly, owing to high flexibility and reliability is driving growth of the pharmaceutical robots market.
Continuous advancement in pharmaceutical robots is expected to fuel growth of the global pharmaceutical robots market
Increasing investments in research and development activities by manufacturers is expected to boost growth of the pharmaceutical robots market. For instance, UR3 Robot launched by Universal Robots in March 2015 is cost-effective and small in size as compared to other robots such as SCARA and Cartesian robots. China-based Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd., is working on replacing conventional robotic machines with collaborative robots, owing to their high efficiency and flexibility. Guangzhou pharmaceuticals collaborated with Midea Group Co. in 2017 to bring fully automated dispensing robots that can pick, package, and distribute pills at hospitals and drugstores. Japan-based Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., plans to offer surgical robots in 2019 to California based Omnicell Inc, which markets automatic medication dispensing systems. Increasing demand for specific packaging configuration and useful factors of robots in pharmaceutical manufacturing such as accuracy, high speed, zero error operations, and better utilization of space are also driving the growth of the pharmaceutical robots market. High reliability, enhanced safety, significant financial savings, and relentless continuous work in any environment are some others applications of robots, which are expected to drive growth of the global pharmaceutical robots market. However, high initial investment for automation of pharmaceutical industry is restraining growth of the market.
Pharmaceutical Robots Market Taxonomy
Pharmaceutical robots market is segmented on the basis of product type, application, end user, and geography.
Asia Pacific region is expected to gain significant market share in the global pharmaceutical robots market over the forecast period, owing to presence of leading robots manufacturer
Presence of key manufacturers in Asia Pacific region such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries offering MC004N and MS005N and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation offering RH-3SDHR SCARA robot, capable of high speed operations, is expected to support the growth of the market in this region. MC004N meets the healthcare industry’s processing equipment specifications for accuracy, consistency and cleanliness, making it ideal for assembly, dispensing, inspection and material handling applications. The MS005N clean robot helps prevent human errors, contamination risks, and exposure to High Potency Pharmaceutical Ingredients, such as anticancer drugs. Key players in the market are actively participating in exhibitions and conferences to increase the visibility of their product. International Conference on Control Automation and Robotics 2015 in Singapore, 2016 in Hong Kong, and 2017 in Japan to commercialize robots on a big scale. Participation of major players in such events is expected to increase the adoption of robots in pharmaceutical industry, which in turn is expected to propel growth of the market over the forecast period. Moreover, Tokyo-based Softbank invested US$ 114 million in robot technology in 2017.
According to the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI), 2018, robots are expected to handle 34% of pharmaceutical packaging operations in North America. This percentage of work handled by robots is expected to further increase in near future, owing to its high accuracy, consistency and low contamination risks. For more work, more robots will be required which will support the growth of the pharmaceutical robots market in key pharmaceutical markets such as U.S., China and Japan.
Key players operating the pharmaceutical robots market include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., FANUC Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, ABB Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, Universal Robots A/S, Yaskawa Electric Corporation, Marchesini Group S.p.A., and Midea Group Co.