The global wafer handling robots market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.12% over the analyzed period to reach a market size of US$728.462 million in 2026 from US$450.124 million in 2019. Wafer handling robots are used for wide operations in the manufacturing process of wafers and their applications in the semiconductor industry. Robot handling involves all sort of work including wafer slicing, carefully picking them up and placing at the desired location, with precision and accuracy, hence reducing the production time and inaccuracy, speeding the process, and optimizing production. Burgeoning application of semiconductor wafers across major industry vertical creates demand for smaller and thinner wafers for a better circuit that occupies less space in the device has resulted in a rise in demand for wafer handling robots for greater precision and accuracy, which will drive the growth in the market during the forecasted period. rising demand for renewable energy has increased the adoption of solar energy creating a robust market for wafers. This provides growth prospects for the wafer-handling robots market. However, the high cost of these robots, the complexity of work, and the requirement for a skilled labor force for smooth operations along with the hefty cost of retrofitting and maintenance require goof financials and hence the market gets limited access, particularly to larger firms.
Burgeoning demand for wafers will provide the market potential for the wafer handling robots industry
The prime factor driving the growth in the market is the burgeoning demand for wafers across several industry verticals. Major end-users demand thin and small or customized wafers that occupy less, making their products more portable and convenient. Wafers are used in solar cells, electronics, electric cars, and others. The growing demand for renewable energy has increased the installation of solar panels. In India, the construction of the country’s biggest floating solar power plant in Telangana, operational from May 2021, will accommodate 4.5 lakhs of photovoltaic panels and provide significant market demand for silicon wafers. Further, rising solar panel installation and aid by government schemes such as PM-KUSUM will provide growth prospects for the market. In the United States, growing solar projects will have greater market scope. The state of Nevada is expected to increase its solar plant construction expenditure by US$9 billion in the next 10 years while 14 projects are scheduled in New York to meet the states increasing demand. Texas has also scheduled 45 solar projects to be constructed in the next decade, providing robust growth opportunities for the solar wafer market. Growth in these industries drives the market for wafers, which in turn drives the market for wafer handling robots.
Production and placement of wafers are quite crucial for the efficiency of a semiconductor. However, in production and wafer transportation, human non-machinery handling carries an inevitable risk of human error that will impact the semiconductor efficiency. Adoption of handling robots decreases the error to a significant extend, providing greater precision and accuracy. Hence, the technology is finding its way into the wafer production market.
The high cost of installation and maintenance limits the market scope
A major constraint facing the global wafer handling robots market is its high cost which limits its market access. The initial purchase of these robots is significant and is accompanied by retrofitting costs. These robots also involve recurring maintenance cost to ensure smoothy functioning and location of defects that consumes a notable budget of the firms. Furthermore, handling these robots requires a skilled workforce to understand the technicality and operations. Lack of skilled workforce hampers operation. Further, a skilled workforce costs more than an unskilled workforce, which increases expenditure notably. Hence, access to wafer handling robots is limited to large and financially stable firms, losing the market for small and medium enterprises.
Atmospheric wafer handling robots have a significant market share
Based on type, the wafer handling robots market is segmented into atmospheric and vacuum. Atmospheric system handling robots will have a significant share in the market while vacuum system robots will grow at a notable rate during the forecasted period. The launch of Yaskawa Electric, 5-axis, single-arm, atmospheric system wafer handling robots, SEMISTAR- GEKKO MD 124D, in May 2020, is expected to increase the market competitiveness in the industry. the new robot directly drives the robot arm using its original AC servo motor and has superior features compared to other robots in the industry. The company claims that the robot has the capability to double the position accuracy while reducing the vibration caused by 1/6th. SEMISTAR is also capable transferring of 300mm semiconductor wafers and improves productivity. Technological innovation will drive a significant market during the forecasted period.
The North America and Asia Pacific region will have a significant share during the forecasted period
Based on geography, the global wafer handling market is divided into North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific regions. During the forecasted period, the North America and Asia Pacific region are projected to hold a significant share of the market. In the Asia Pacific region, the booming manufacturing industry and availability of a cheap, skilled workforce will drive the market growth. However, budget constraints of firms will limit the market access to small and medium enterprises. In North America, technological advancement and development along with greater adaptability will result in robust growth.
Covid pandemic Insights
The effect of the covid pandemic resulted in the adoption of containment measures by the government, to break the cycle of the virus. This resulted in a halt in several economic operations which discouraged market development and growth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What are the growth prospects for the wafer handling robots market?
A1. The wafer handling robots market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.12% during the forecast period.
Q2. What is the size of the global wafer handling robots market?
A2. Wafer Handling Robots Market was valued at US$450.124 million in 2019.
Q3. What will be the wafer handling robots market size by 2026?
A3. The global wafer handling robots market is expected to reach a market size of US$728.462 million by 2026.
Q4. What factors are anticipated to drive the wafer handling robots market growth?
A4. The prime factor driving the growth in the wafer handling robots market is the burgeoning demand for wafers across several industry verticals.
Q5. Which region holds the maximum market share of the wafer handling robots market?
A5. The North America and Asia Pacific region are projected to hold a significant share of the wafer handling robots market.