In 2017, the automated guided vehicle (AGV) sales soared 93.7% year on year and reached 22,000 units in China, and the figure would rise to 36,000 units or so in 2018. In the upcoming five years, the growing demand from production & logistics market of automobiles and home appliances as well as emerging industries like intelligent logistics will give impetus to the Chinese AGV market with an expected average annual growth rate of about 49%. AGV sales is anticipated to report 269,000 units in 2023.
Among them, the manufacturing and logistics of automobile and home appliances have huge demand for AGV in China, together consuming more than 50% of AGVs in 2017. The demand from traditional AGV applications, where AGV gets vigorously promoted in an all-round manner, remains stable. The application of AGV in emerging fields like power patrol inspection, intelligent parking, automated ports, and digital stages also gains greater popularity. For instance, the intelligent parking AGV projects are being carried out. The robotic stereo garage was unveiled at Nanjing Confucius Temple in early 2018, using “laser navigation + comb exchange” car-handling AGV with independent intellectual property rights. Beijing-based Wukesong Underground Parking Lot set up over 60 AGV intelligent parking spaces in July 2018.
Navigation technology is a key integral of AGV products. Although magnetic-tape navigation and electromagnetic navigation are still the main navigation modes used by Chinese AGV products, technologies like hybrid navigation, outdoor navigation, free navigation and contour navigation have been increasingly mature in recent years and are expected to become mainstream ones.
The AGV products of domestic-funded enterprises, represented by SIASUN Robot & Automation, Yunnan KSEC Intelligent Equipment, Machinery Technology Development, and Hubei Sanfeng Intelligent Conveying Equipment, dominate in the Chinese AGV market, accounting for 86% of the country’s total sales in 2017. Foreign companies, such as JBT, Daifuku, Dematic, Swisslog, and Meidensha, make their presence in the middle and high-end market in China by relying on superior technologies.
The Chinese AGV capital market was full of vigor with annual financing exceeding RMB1 billion in 2017, and some startups expedited their foray by aggressive research and development of technologies so that competition among AGV companies pricks up. With maturity of intelligent technologies, the capital market will be more flourishing in 2018.
Global and China Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) Industry Report, 2018-2023 by ResearchInChina highlights the following:
- Global AGV market (size, demand structure, competitive landscape and development in regions like Japan, Europe and the United States);
- Chinese AGV market (size, product structure, demand structure, prices, competition and development trends);
- Market development of core AGV components like AGV system, on-board control system, drive system (electric motor, reducer, etc.), navigation system (magnetic navigation sensor, laser navigation, laser scanner, etc.), and charging system;
- The development of such key downstream sectors as automobile, parking, electric power, tobacco, and the demand for AGV;
- 23 global and Chinese AGV manufacturers (operation, AGV business, development strategy, etc.