The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with advancements in robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and sensor technologies, and growing importance of technologies such as robotic arm, welding power source, welding torch/tooling, and vision systems. These technologies work together to enable precise and efficient automated welding operations. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Robotics: Welding robot. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, AI-assisted inspection, anti-collision LiDAR, and 3D object sensing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Autonomous harvesters, cleaning robots, and line follower robots are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are, welding robot and robotic vision, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for robotics in the technology industry

Welding robot is a key innovation area in robotics

Welding robots are robotic systems specifically designed for automated welding tasks. They find widespread application in manufacturing environments where their precision and efficiency are utilised to weld components together swiftly and accurately. These robots are programmable and capable of executing various welding techniques, including arc welding, gas welding, and spot welding.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of welding robot.

Key players in welding robot – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to welding robot

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Trumpf 64 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 57 Unlock Company Profile
Enovis 51 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 35 Unlock Company Profile
Fanuc 31 Unlock Company Profile
Wobben Properties 31 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 30 Unlock Company Profile
Lincoln Electric 21 Unlock Company Profile
Yaskawa Electric 18 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 17 Unlock Company Profile
POSCO 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 16 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 15 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances 14 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Heavy Industries 13 Unlock Company Profile
STIWA 13 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 11 Unlock Company Profile
China Communications Construction Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Pemamek 11 Unlock Company Profile
Midea 11 Unlock Company Profile
Novarc Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 10 Unlock Company Profile
Andritz 10 Unlock Company Profile
Metalsa 10 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Machinery 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kulicke & Soffa Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Keylex 9 Unlock Company Profile
Thyssenkrupp Drauz Nothelfer 9 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 8 Unlock Company Profile
Applied Materials 8 Unlock Company Profile
Junma Petroleum Equipment Manufacturing 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nikon 7 Unlock Company Profile
ASM International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Coesia 7 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 7 Unlock Company Profile
AML3D 6 Unlock Company Profile
BorgWarner 6 Unlock Company Profile
Scanlab Sp z oo 6 Unlock Company Profile
SERVO-ROBOT 6 Unlock Company Profile
Innuovo Electric Hengdian Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
China Pacific Insurance 6 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Steel Works 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nanjing Panda Electronics 6 Unlock Company Profile
Teledyne Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 6 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Development Bank 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Trumpf is one of the leading patent filers in welding robot. The company’s patents are aimed at a method and a machine tool for processing workpiece, comprising a workpiece movement device and a workpiece support that supports both a workpiece during a processing operation and a workpiece remainder produced from the workpiece during the processing operation.

The workpiece support comprises a first support portion and an additional support portion. The first support portion comprises a loading-side support portion arranged in a loading region of the machine tool, with the additional support portion arranged to move relative to the loading-side support portion between the loading region and an unloading region of the machine tool. The unloading region is offset in a horizontal direction from the loading region, wherein the loading-side support portion is arranged to move in a vertical direction between a loading level and a bypass level located above or below the loading level.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Kobe Steel and Enovis.

By geographic reach, Wobben Properties leads the pack, followed by STIWA and Boeing. In terms of application diversity, Thyssenkrupp Drauz Nothelfer holds the top position, followed by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Midea.

Welding robots provide benefits such as increased productivity, improved weld quality, reduced cycle times, and enhanced worker safety. They are widely used in industries such as automotive manufacturing, aerospace, construction, and metal fabrication, where repetitive and high-precision welding is required.

To further understand how robotics is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics – Thematic Research Report.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.