The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for efficient and high-quality welding processes in industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and construction, coupled with advancements in robotic technologies and artificial intelligence, and growing importance of technologies such as advanced software and sensors to ensure accurate positioning and precise welding, leading to improved efficiency and higher quality welds. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in technology: welding robots. 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 stabilizing 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.

190+ 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 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, nanorobotics, autonomous harvesters, and line follower robots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Surgical robots, SLAM path planning, and force feedback robots are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.

Innovation S-curve for robotics in the technology industry

Welding robots is a key innovation area in robotics

Automated welding robots are machines designed to execute welding operations across diverse industries like automotive, aerospace, construction, and manufacturing. They come equipped with specialized welding tools and can be programmed to perform intricate welding tasks with exceptional precision and efficiency.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 150+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of welding robots.

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

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

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

Patent volumes related to welding robots

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
KUKA Roboter 9 Unlock Company Profile
3M Innovative Properties 12 Unlock Company Profile
Applied Materials 3 Unlock Company Profile
Baoshan Iron & Steel 38 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi Zosen Fukui 3 Unlock Company Profile
Metal Improvement 6 Unlock Company Profile
Bombardier Transportation 7 Unlock Company Profile
CGN Power 9 Unlock Company Profile
GE Oil & Gas UK 3 Unlock Company Profile
Comau 9 Unlock Company Profile
GM Global Technology Operations 4 Unlock Company Profile
Lincoln Global 72 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic Intellectual Property Management 11 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus Operations 3 Unlock Company Profile
Jenoptik Automatisierungstechnik 6 Unlock Company Profile
KUKA Deutschland 5 Unlock Company Profile
GKN Aerospace St. Louis 4 Unlock Company Profile
YASKAWA SLOVENIJA 5 Unlock Company Profile
Yaskawa Electric 25 Unlock Company Profile
Sintokogio 4 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Heavy Industries 3 Unlock Company Profile
Illinois Tool Works 25 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 7 Unlock Company Profile
TE Connectivity 5 Unlock Company Profile
Fanuc 148 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 4 Unlock Company Profile
Amada 2 Unlock Company Profile
Fronius International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 24 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 27 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 10 Unlock Company Profile
Centro Ricerche Fiat 6 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 5 Unlock Company Profile
China General Nuclear Power 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 4 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 4 Unlock Company Profile
Nikon 7 Unlock Company Profile
Holland L P 5 Unlock Company Profile
SLM Solutions Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
DMG Mori 6 Unlock Company Profile
Salvagnini Italia 13 Unlock Company Profile
KraussMaffei Technologies 3 Unlock Company Profile
Seurat Technologies 129 Unlock Company Profile
The First Company of China Eighth Engineering Bureau 2 Unlock Company Profile
C.R.F. Societa' Consortile Per Azioni 3 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 3 Unlock Company Profile
Shenyang Fortune Precision Equipment 3 Unlock Company Profile
Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki Seisakusho 6 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Nuclear Power Research Institute 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in welding robots, Fanuc is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patent describes a control device that effectively safeguards against positional shifts of a workpiece on a workpiece-moving apparatus. It achieves this by employing a workpiece-moving apparatus controller that adjusts the time constant, with a longer duration during non-processing tasks, ensuring precise coordination between the robot and workpiece-moving apparatus. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Seurat Technologies and Lincoln Global.

In terms of application diversity, DMG Mori held the top position, while Boeing and General Electric stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographical reach, Seurat Technologies leads the pack, followed by Salvagnini Italia and 3M Innovative Properties.

Welding robots play a crucial role in modern manufacturing processes, offering a high level of precision and efficiency in welding operations. They significantly enhance productivity, ensure consistent weld quality, and contribute to a safer working environment by reducing human exposure to hazardous welding conditions.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.