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Precision machinery is a key component of Taiwan’s manufacturing industry. IEK estimated that total output of the machinery industry reached NT$964.1 billion in 2014, an increase of 7% from 2013. Within this sector, high-tech production of semiconductors and display panels grew by 12.54%, transport and automated machines grew by 10.83%, and machine tools grew by 4.92%. Growth in the global smart automation market is particularly noteworthy. According to the market research company MarketsandMarkets, total economic value of the smart automation market reached US$184.7 billion, growing 8% since 2013, and is expected to rise to over US$300 billion by 2020. Smart automation has become important in the manufacturing industry by alleviating the need for labor, decreasing waste, increasing productivity and creating added value.
Regarding the development of robotics, MarketsandMarkets analysis shows that the global scope of industrial robotics in the control and automation of factories will increase from US$25 billion in 2014 to US$39.1 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.75%. In 2013, the total value of the Asian industrial robotics market was US$9.03 billion, or 40% of the global market, and is expected to rise to US$16.4 billion in 2020.
According to statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), 178,132 multi-axis robots were installed in 2013, a recent high, achieving a CAGR of 12% over the period from 2008 to 2013. Growth in each of the next three years is expected to be between 6% and 10%, and will continue to climb in the mid- to long-term. Growth in the demand for industrial robotics has mainly come from the Chinese manufacturing industry; in 2013, China led global demand for these products.
Growth in Taiwan’s tool machinery sector was limited in 2014. In addition to the “high-end model pricing parity” strategy adopted by the US, the EU and Japan in the Chinese market, US-Korean and EU-Korean FTAs, the end of QE, and the rapid depreciation of the Japanese Yen are also significant factors.