China to become largest robot consumer by 2014

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 With the demand for industrial robots being anticipated to hit 32,000 units by 2014, China could become the world's largest robotics consumer.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, the sector's technology and production have gained momentum amid higher labour costs and China's efforts to restructure its economic growth pattern and improve energy efficiency, Xinhua reported.

At the China International Industry Fair, which concluded Saturday, China's robot manufacturers exhibited their models in direct competition with their foreign counterparts.

The fair attracted over 800 participants during the five-day exhibition.

At the event, a company named SIASUN Robot & Automation Co. demonstrated its new models, which were integrated with numerical control machines that could accomplish multi-procedure processes.

The company's self-designed products have been exported to overseas markets including India, the US, Canada, and Russia.

Despite the growing sector, people from the industry also warned that a lack of core technology may stall the development of robot manufacturing in the country.

On this occasion, Gu Chunyuan, vice president at manufacturer ABB (China) Limited, said: "Despite the substantive demand, Chinese manufacturers still have to rely on some overseas suppliers for many key components, which may hinder the independent growth of China's robot sector."
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