The wafer handling robots market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.12% to reach a market size worth US$728.462 million by 2026. This market was valued at US$450.124 million in 2019. Wafer handling robots are used to align and transfer wafers throughout various manufacturing operations in the integrated circuit fabrication industry. Wafer handling robots are utilized for a variety of tasks such as wafer cleaning, wafer packaging, and wafer cutting, and more. They have a wide range of qualities, including great precision, speed, and dependability. It allows for automation and minimizes contamination during wafer processing. Wafer handling robotics come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and manufacturers use them in various ways for the wafer handling process. SCARA robots, frog leg robots, and four-bar linkage robots are examples of these sorts.
Analysts Anticipate That the Market Will Grow Due to the Increased Application of Semiconductor Wafers Across Different Industry Verticals During the Forecast Period
Demand for smaller and thinner wafers for a better circuit that occupies less space in the device has led to an increase in demand for wafer handling robots for improved precision and accuracy, which will drive the market expansion during the anticipated period. According to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), worldwide semiconductor sales revenue reached $39.0 billion in October 2020, rising 6.0 percent from $36.8 billion in October 2019 and 3.1 percent higher than $37.9 billion in September 2020. Furthermore, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics WSTS industry projection, worldwide semiconductor yearly sales would increase by 8.4% in 2021. Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are miniature mechanical and electro-mechanical components created by utilizing microfabrication techniques. Silicon wafers have long been utilized as a fabrication platform in microelectronics and MEMS which will further propel market growth.
Solar cells, electronics, and electric vehicles are just a few of the applications for wafers. In response to the growing demand for renewable energy, the installation of solar panels has expanded. The development of India's largest floating solar power plant in Telangana, which is expected to be operational in May 2021, will house 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels and create significant market demand for silicon wafers. Furthermore, increased solar panel installation and government assistance programs such as PM-KUSUM would boost the market's growth prospects. Growing solar projects in the United States will have more market potential. Similarly, in the next ten years, the state of Nevada is set to spend $9 billion on solar plant construction, while 14 projects are planned in New York to accommodate the state's growing demand. Texas has also announced the construction of 45 solar projects over the next decade, indicating that the solar wafer market would see significant expansion. These industries' growth fuels the demand for wafers, which in turn boosts the demand for wafer handling robots.
The High Cost of Installation and Maintenance Can Act as a Constraint for Market Growth at a Global Level
The high cost of wafer handling robots is a major limitation in the global market, impeding market development. The initial cost of these robots is high, and they also come with retrofitting expenditures. These robots also require ongoing maintenance to maintain smooth operation, which takes a significant portion of the companies' budget. Manufacturing businesses are hesitant to deploy wafer-handling robots as a result of these difficulties, which is slowing the market's overall growth. Furthermore, handling these robots necessitates highly trained personnel who is familiar with its technicalities and operations. Hence, the operation is hampered by a lack of skilled labor. Furthermore, a competent workforce is more expensive than an unskilled workforce, resulting in a significant rise in spending. As a result, only large and financially sound companies have access to wafer handling robots, leaving small and medium businesses out of the market.
By Type, Atmospheric Wafer Handling Robots Are Anticipated to Witness a Significant Market Share During the Forecast Period
The wafer handling robots market is divided into two types: atmospheric and vacuum. During the anticipated time, the atmospheric system handling robots will have a major proportion of the market, while vacuum system robots will rise at a significant rate. The launch of Yaskawa Electric's SEMISTAR- GEKKO MD 124D 5-axis, single-arm, atmospheric system wafer handling robots in May 2020 is projected to boost the industry's market competitiveness. The new robot has superior features when compared to other robots in the business since it directly operates the robot arm utilizing its original AC servo motor. According to the business, the robot can double position accuracy while lowering vibration by 1/6th. SEMISTAR can also move 300mm semiconductor wafers, which increases production. During the anticipated time, technological innovation will generate a considerable market.
According to Regional Analysis, the Wafer Handling Robots Market in North America and the Asia Pacific Are Expected to Hold a Significant Share During the Projected Period
The global wafer handling market is segmented into five regions based on geography: North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific. North America and the Asia Pacific are expected to hold a considerable share of the market over the estimated period. The burgeoning manufacturing industry in the Asia Pacific, as well as the availability of a cheap, skilled workforce, will fuel market growth. Moreover, the market is primarily driven by growing nations such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, where the semiconductor industry's demand for wafer handling robots is quickly increasing. Technological improvement and development, as well as more flexibility, will result in robust growth in the market of North America.
The impact of the covid-19 pandemic prompted the authorities worldwide to implement containment measures in order to halt the virus's cycle. Several economic operations came to a halt as a result, discouraging market expansion and progress. Most businesses, with the exception of medical supplies and life support items, have been severely damaged, including the Wafer Handling Robots Industry.