Collaborative Robots

Global Sales of Collaborative RobotsCollaborative robots, or co-bots, are robots that work alongside human workers. Many workers are wary of the increased use of robots in general, fearing the loss of their jobs. M.I.T. and Boston University estimated that up to six people lose their jobs for each robot per 1,000 workers a company adds. Employers, however, cite increased productivity, cost savings, and healthier work environments when robots are used in the workplace. Robots can work in hazardous jobs or do repetitive tasks thereby reducing worker injuries.

Today’s market size shows the total global sales of collaborative robots in 2015, 2020, and 2025. Figures for 2020 and 2025 are projections. According to the Robotic Industries Association, the United States is third behind Japan and China in the total number of industrial robots in use—250,000 in 2017. According to the Brookings Institution, metro Detroit has more than 15,000 industrial robots in place, almost five times the number of any other major city in the U.S.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2015, 2020 and 2025
Market size: $120 million, $3.1 billion (projected) and $12 billion (projected).
Source: Dolan, Matthew, “Rise of the Robots,” Lansing State Journal, October 30, 2017, page 8A.
Original source: Barclays Equity Research analysts

Oil Drilling Rigs


The rising demand for oil on the global scale has been an engine of growth for more than a decade for the oil and gas drilling equipment industry. Since 2005, in the United States alone, 1,538 newly constructed oil drilling rigs were brought into the market valued at approximately $53 billion. We offer a graphic that shows the number of rigs available in the U.S. market annually and the percent of utilization of those rigs for a fifty year period.

Today’s market size is the number of oil drilling rigs available to the market in 2012, of which 94% are land-based drills and 6% are drills for use in offshore applications.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012
Market size: 3,006 oil drilling rigs
Source: “U.S. Rig Census Historical Data, 1955-2012,” National Oilwell VARCO Downhole’s 59th Annual Rig Census, November 2012, page 10, available online here.
Original source: IHS Drilling Data, RigData, ODS-Petrodata, and
Posted on October 16, 2013

Elevators & Escalators

Elevators and escalators are an almost invisible part of the infrastructure of large buildings, invisible only in that they are taken for granted by most of their users. For the industry involved in making and servicing these complex machines, invisibility may well be just fine, after all, when attention is drawn to them it is often for all the wrong reasons—slowness, jerkiness, and/or safety problems.

Leaders in this industry include Otis, Schindler, ThyssenKrupp and KONE, each representing around 20% of the world market. The areas of greatest growth in new installations are areas of the world that are seeing the largest increase in both urbanization and high-rise construction. Maintenance of existing machinery is a part of the business that is strongest in the well-established industrialized world and is an important part of this industry.

Today’s market size is the estimated number of new elevator and escalator installations around the world during 2012 as well as the installed base that year.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012
Market size: 670,000 new units added to a base of slightly over 11 million
Source: “Elevator and Escalator Market,” published in 2013 by KONE and available here with geographical breakdowns of the global market.
Original source: KONE
Posted on July 1, 2013

Portable Generators

The recent hurricane that did so much damage along the northeastern coast of the United States has caused a spike in the sale of portable generators that convert fuel—gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, etc.—into electric power. These systems are often referred to as Gensets and two of the leading manufacturers of such systems are Cummins and Caterpillar. Today’s market size is the value of the portable generator market worldwide in 2011 and the forecasted value by 2020.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2011 and 2020
Market size: $12 billion and $22.3 billion respectively
Source: “Research and Markets: Diesel and Gas Generator, 2012 – Global Market Size, Segmentation and Equipment Market Share to 2020,” BusinessWire, August 30, 2012, available online here.
Original source: GlobalData
Posted on November 12, 2012

Packaging Machinery

Packaging Machinery Industry Shipments

Most products sold are packaged for shipping and additionally, for items sold through retail outlets, for presentation within a retail setting. All that packaging uses a lot of material and sophisticated machinery is used to actually do the packaging. The machines used to do the packaging—be that bottling, canning, labeling or wrapping—are what we look at in today’s market size post.

Today’s market size is the value of all shipments by U.S. manufacturers of packaging machinery in 2009. The graphic presents data on this industry’s shipments over the past decade and shows a pattern that bucks the trend seen in most U.S. manufacturing industries.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2009
Market size: $4.13 billion
Source: “Sector 31: Annual Survey of Manufactures: General Statistics: Statistics for Industry Groups and Industries: 2009 and 2008,” 2009 Annual Survey of Manufactures, NAICS Industry 333993, data released on December 3, 2010, available online here. Data used to produce the graph come from a series of Census Bureau reports that have been combined with other industry data and presented with a long historical perspective in a work edited by Joyce P. Simkin titled Manufacturing & Distribution USA, Sixth Edition, published by Gale—Cengage Learning in 2011, Volume 2, page 1115.
Original source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

Snowmobiles in the United States

The United States is a country that loves its motorized vehicles. In rural regions of the country where snow covers the landscape for nearly half the year, snowmobiles serve as both a sporting entertainment as well as a working vehicle. The United States is the largest national market for snowmobiles.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size: 48,599 snowmobiles sold for an estimated retail value of $414 million.
Source: “Snowmobile Statistics,” International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, available online here.

Snowmobiles in Canada

As a country with vast expanses of land, often covered by a layer of snow, it is no wonder that Canada is the second largest national market for snowmobiles. What is remarkable is that in 2010 one snowmobile was sold in Canada for every 912 people. So, Canada is by far the leading national market for snowmobiles on a per capita basis.

Geographic reference: Canada
Year: 2010
Market size: 37,670 snowmobiles sold for an estimated retail value of $374 million.
Source: “Snowmobile Statistics,” International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, available online here.


The United States and Canada are by far the two largest national markets for snowmobiles in the world. The United States accounted for 44% of all snowmobile unit sales in 2010 while Canada, with 0.5% of the world population, accounted for 34% of all snowmobile unit sales.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2010
Market size: 111,492 snowmobiles sold.
Source: “Snowmobile Statistics,” International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, available online here.

Industrial Scrubbers

The sorts of scrubbers we’re looking at here are a diverse assortment of complex pollution control devices. They are used to control—reduce and capture— pollutants that are emitted during an industrial process. The market size presented here is based on an industry projection.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012
Market size: $6.5 billion
Source: Water World, October 2009
Original source: McIlvaine Company