The digitisation of production processes is driving global sales of industrial robots – worth $20.7bn in 2022 – equivalent to 33% of the total robotics market – and set to reach $45.1bn over the period 2022-2030, at a CAGR of 10%, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

A ‘collaborative robot’ or ‘cobot’, is designed to be used in parallel with humans within a shared space, which breaks away from traditional industrial robotic applications where human and robotic processes are kept separate.

Assisted by AI, cobots also benefit from faster learning and easier programming, making them extremely versatile in comparison to traditional manufacturing robotic solutions. One example is the palletisation process where a cobot can stack boxes directly from the production line onto a pallet ready for being moved by a human but with advanced sensor technology to prevent contact with anyone in the production hall.

Cobot integration into production processes

Cobots are being integrated into the production processes of key packaging manufacturers such as packaging giants Tetra Pak and specialists Sealed Air. Tetra Pak is developing machinery to work in tandem with their own packaging systems, which not only simplifies the integration of Cobots in the manufacturing process but also adds value to the packaging applications they provide for the food and beverage industry. A key development here is Tetra Pak’s integrated data collection system called the Data Gateway which can be retrofitted to older machinery, to feed data into their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) analytics platform which helps to monitor and manage factory operations.

Sealed Air is working in partnership with San Francisco-based robotics software firm OSARO to explore the new production capabilities offered by automated cobot solutions, and this summer, automated machinery manufacturer Omron, installed one of their Cobots at Ice Bakers, a Danish producer of plant-based ice cream. The cobot is used to support their end-of-line packaging process which OMRON claims has increased the overall line capacity of the ice cream manufacturer by 80% while minimising the requirement for human involvement in the process.

“Cobots offer companies more capability and control in the manufacturing process with less downtime and a reduced reliance on human intervention,” said George Higgins, Packaging Consultant, Consumer Custom Solutions at GlobalData.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“This leads to greater productivity and the opportunity to grow market share with packaging innovation produced on more efficient production lines at a lower cost.”

The rise of RaaS and AaaS supporting cobot sales

The increased use of robotics and AI applications in the production process has given rise to two new AI services: RaaS (Robotics-as-a-Service) – where robotics companies offer a subscription model for customers to use their robot devices – and AaaS (Automation-as-a-Service) – where companies offer their customers on-demand tailored automation services to improve company processes.

In 2020 a study entitled: ‘Impact of Robotics on Manufacturing: A Longitudinal Machine Learning Perspective’ was conducted by the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, authored by Ballestar et al. Based on a sample of 4,578 companies from their Business Strategy Survey, the study found that “both small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and large firms benefit from transformation to robotics” and “transformed companies become more resilient to unfavourable financial events”. A full English translation of the study can be found on Science Direct. 

Higgins commented: “The implications of cobot’s introduction in the packaging industry are huge; new methods for optimising production lines, gathering operational data, and increasing ROI for warehouse ‘machinery’, including robots will all have a massive impact on packaging companies’ customers and their profitability.

“Savvy packaging companies also have an investment opportunity here to create a fully integrated packaging solution for their clients as Tetra Pak has done, and as a result, we are also likely to see more M&A activity in the space, such as packaging machinery provider Bobst, who acquired a 70% stake in Ducker robotics. Companies that can upskill existing staff to learn how to use the software that controls robot automation will also become leaders in the industry.”

GlobalData Consumer Custom Solutions offers sector-level expertise in the Beverages, Food, Retail and Packaging industries. We use our unique data, insights and analytics to answer your bespoke questions with a tailored approach and deliverables. To learn more or have a chat, please drop us an email at or contact us here and we’ll get in touch!