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Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of the four major industrial robots

Issuing time:2022-08-10 13:23

ABB's core area is control systems, KUKA in systems integration applications and ontology manufacturing, Fanuc in numerical control systems, and Yaskawa in servo motors and motion controllers.

The Swiss ABB

ABB is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The business covers five fields of electric power products, discrete automation, motion control, process automation and low-voltage products, and is most famous for electric power and automation technology. ABB emphasizes the integrity of the robot itself. For its six-axis robot, the single axis is not the fastest, but the accuracy of the six axes together is very high.

Core areas

ABB's core technology is motion control system, which is also the biggest difficulty for the robot itself. ABB, which has mastered the motion control technology, can easily realize the performance of the robot, such as tracking accuracy, motion speed, cycle time and programmable design, and greatly improve the quality, efficiency and reliability of production.

Technology: The algorithm is the best, but slightly more expensive

ABB started from frequency converters at the earliest. In China, most of the power stations and frequency conversion stations are made by ABB. For the robot itself, the biggest difficulty lies in the motion control system, and ABB's core strength is motion control. It can be said that ABB's robot algorithm is the best of the four major brands, not only comprehensive motion control solutions, product use technical documentation is also quite professional and specific.

ABB's cabinet comes with Robot Studio software for 3D simulation and online capabilities. The connection with external equipment supports a variety of general industrial bus interfaces, and the communication with various brands of welding power supply, cutting power supply, PLC can also be realized through labeled input and output interfaces. In addition, ABB control cabinet can also freely set the arc starting, heating, welding, arc winding current, voltage, speed, swing and other parameters, can be set to achieve a variety of complex swing trajectory.

ABB also pays attention to the overall characteristics of robots, and pays attention to the design of robots as well as the quality. However, it is known that ABB robots equipped with high standard control systems are expensive. In addition, many enterprises responded that ABB had the longest lead time among the four major brands.

Domestic Market Analysis

ABB has pursued a high-flying strategy at home, focusing on cooperation with key customers in China. Huawei, Changhong and Topstar are the bellwethers of application terminal and integrator of 3C home appliance industry respectively, which play the role of vane in the industry. It can be seen that ABB attaches great importance to 3C industry. Its future products will integrate more advanced technologies such as intelligence, interconnection and big data. The ontology enterprise starts to move towards the application side, and the relationship with the system integrator will be closer. At the same time, ontology enterprises themselves begin to pay attention to the development of integrated applications.

KUKA, Germany

Founded in 1898 in Augsburg, Germany, Kuka initially focused on interior and urban lighting, and soon branched out into other fields. Kuka's main customers are in the automotive industry, but it also focuses on providing advanced automation solutions for industrial processes, including brain surgery and radiography in hospitals.

Core areas

Kuka robots can be used for material handling, processing, spot welding and arc welding in industries such as automation, metal processing, food and plastics.

Technology: Simple operation, but high failure rate

Midea's acquisition of Kuka has made Kuka hot. If ABB is the Mercedes of cars, then Kuka is the BMW of cars. Although both are high-end cars, BMW has a higher repair rate than Mercedes.

It is reported that compared with ABB, Fanuc and other robots, Kuka robot repair rate is higher. According to people familiar with the situation, one of Kuka's robots breaks down almost every day.

The advantage of Kuka in domestic sales lies in the good secondary development, even if there is no technical basis of Xiao Bai can start to operate within a day; In the man-machine interface, in order to cater to the habits of Chinese, Kuka is made very simple, just like playing a game machine is easy to use. In comparison, the control system of Japanese brand robots has many keyboards, and the operation is slightly complicated.

It is worth mentioning that Kuka has done well in the field of heavy load robots. In the robots above 120KG, Kuka and ABB have the majority of market share, while in the heavy load of 400KG and 600KG robots, Kuka has the largest sales volume.

Domestic Market Analysis

KUKA is currently accelerating the layout of localized services in the Chinese market, exploring New Territories in southwest China, and will continue to make efforts in the field of automotive equipment in the future. The acquisition of KUKA by Midea has been recorded in history, which has had a significant impact on the influence and market response of the two brands. The joint effect of Midea +KUKA in the future is also worthy of expectation.

FANUC (Japan)

FANUC company was founded in 1956, three years later launched the first electro-hydraulic stepper motor, into the 1970s, thanks to the microelectronics technology, power electronic technology, especially the rapid development of computing technology, FANUC company resolutely abandoned the electrohydraulic stepper motor numerical control products and began to transform. In 1976, FANUC company successfully developed the numerical control system, and then jointly developed a high level of numerical control system with Siemens, and gradually become one of the most powerful enterprises in numerical control system, design and manufacturing in the world.

Core areas

FANUC is a global professional manufacturer of numerical control systems. Compared with other enterprises, the industrial robots are unique in that the process control is more convenient, the base size of the same type of robots is smaller, and the arm design is unique.

Technology: Very accurate, but not overloaded

Fanuc's research on numerical control systems dates back to 1956, when forward-thinking Japanese technologists saw the advent of the 3C era and formed a research team. By applying the advantages of numerical control system to robots, Fanuc's industrial robots are also highly accurate. It is reported that the repeated positioning accuracy of Fanuc's multi-functional six-axis small robot can reach plus or minus 0.02mm. In addition, Fanuc Industrial Robots is unique compared with other enterprises in that it has more convenient process control, smaller base size and unique arm design.

Fanuc more it is worth mentioning that the application of the blade compensation function of CNC machine tool finishing in the robot body, from the algorithm into the blade compensation function, which makes the robot in the process of finishing cutting, which can realize a move down inside, and yaskawa robot ontology itself does not have this feature, in order to achieve this function can only be compensated through the secondary development function, And this is also very some customers reflect that Yaskawa robot is not very convenient.

However, Fanuc does not do the best job in robot stability. During full load operation, when the speed reaches 80%, Fanuc robot will alarm, which also indicates that Fanuc robot's overload ability is not very good. So Fanuc's advantage lies in light load, high precision applications, which is why FanUC's miniaturized robots (under 24KG) are selling well.

Domestic Market Analysis

FANUC's strategy is slightly different from that of his family. Its strategy is to find and enter high-demand markets, targeting the huge growth potential of the Chinese market. In the Chinese market, 55 percent of Fanuc's sales of industrial robots are used in the general manufacturing industry, with the top three being household appliances, logistics and electronics and electrical industries. FANUC is currently the largest robot brand in total sales in the market. It does not rely on the sales of big customers, but adopts an open market strategy.

YASKAWA Electric Corporation

Founded in 1915, it is Japan's largest industrial robot company headquartered in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. In 1977, Yaskawa Electric developed and produced Japan's first fully electrified industrial robot using its own motion control technology. Since then, Yaskawa Electric has developed a variety of automatic robots for welding, assembly, painting, handling and so on, and has been leading the global industrial robot market.

Core areas

Yaskawa Electric mainly produces servo and motion controller, which are the key parts of manufacturing robots. It has successively developed a variety of automatic robots, such as welding, assembly, painting and handling. Its core industrial robot products include: It is one of the first manufacturers to apply industrial robots to semiconductor production, including spot welding and arc welding robots, painting and processing robots, LCD glass panel transmission robots and semiconductor chip transmission robots.

Technology: Good stability, but slightly poor accuracy

With nearly 100 years of electrical and motor technology inheritance, Yaskawa's AC servo and frequency converter market share ranks first in the world. As early as 1977, Yaskawa developed Japan's first all-electric industrial robot.

Yaskawa starts from the motor, so it can maximize the inertia of the motor, so the biggest characteristic of Yaskawa's robot is large load, high stability, in the full load full speed running process will not alarm, even can overload operation. As a result, Yaskawa's market for high-load robot applications, such as the automotive industry, is relatively large.

Compared with Fanuc's robots, Yaskawa's robots are not as accurate, and customers tend to choose Fanuc's robots if they require high accuracy for the same price. But Yaskawa robot price advantage is obvious, can be said to be the lowest price among the four brands, cost-effective, Yaskawa welding robot including welding package, the price is only 13/140,000, compared with Panasonic welding robot, Yaskawa is taking the road of mass.

Domestic Market Analysis

Yaskawa has been making big moves in the domestic market in recent years, building a new robotics center, ramping up investment in factories and setting up a joint venture with Midea to speed up localization of its services. China is a demand-side market, and Midea is also a home appliance giant. Robots are in great demand, which could help Yaskawa achieve sales growth.

Yaskawa has been doing research on service robots, especially in the field of medical robots, but it has not progressed well in the Japanese market, which may bring new growth points in the domestic service robot market. At present, major robot ontology enterprises tend to seek cooperation with larger applied enterprises. With the increasingly fierce market competition, such strategic cooperation will be more frequent in the future.


The best industrial robot bodies are European products, with Kuka at the top of the list. However, after the four families entered the Asian market, the quality of ABB robot localization decreased, while the CP value of Yaskawa and Fanuc from Japan was higher than that of European and American products, which was more in line with the customer demand in China.

Nowadays, robot manufacturers usually prefer to cooperate with well-known car manufacturers, such as Fuchs only uses Kuka, GM mainly uses Fanuc, and European brands prefer ABB, which is closely related to the strategy adjustment of the four industrial families.

The four families all started out in businesses related to the robot industry chain, such as ABB and Yaskawa Electric in the electrical equipment business, Fanuc in numerical control systems, and Kuka originally in welding equipment. Finally, they can become the world's leading integrated industrial automation enterprises, because they have mastered the technology of robot body and its core parts, and committed to research and finally realize the integration of development.

Regardless of the historical reasons or the influence of cultural concepts, from the products of these four major robot enterprises, we can see the different development paths that enterprises choose in the face of market changes, and who can go further will ultimately be decided by the market.

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