BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- China has issued a host of policies to strengthen domestic industrial robot industry, eyeing on addressing weaknesses in technology and application, according to the Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily.
To facilitate robot technology development, the People's Bank of China has been encouraging financial institutions to provide more innovative financing, lease and pledge services for industrial robot enterprises, supporting them in technology research and development, industrial chain establishment, application extension and regional development, according to the central bank's report on monetary policy implementation in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Likewise, many Chinese provinces and cities have rolled out action plans to cope with problems concerning robot application.
For example, north China's Hebei province recently has made it clear that it would raise the robot density to 100 units per 10,000 workers by 2020, and apply robots in new energy, automobile, electronics and other sectors.
Xi'an city in northwest China's Shaanxi province also plans to widely use industrial robots in key industries such as automobile, general equipment, and power equipment.
East China's Anhui province plans to promote the use of more than 5,000 industrial robots, while Zhejiang province intends to put additional 16,000 industrial robots into use.
With robot applications expanding, Chinese industrial robot industry is entering a critical period of fast growth, industry experts said.
The output of industrial robots in China reached 148,000 units in 2018, showing an increase of 6.4 percent over the previous year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The industrial robot market in China is expected to reach nearly 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 and exceed 30 billion U.S. dollars if system integration services are included, according to Zuo Shiquan, head of policy panning division under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Equipment Industry Development Center.
Despite the rapid growth, China's industrial robotics still lag behind global competitors.
Domestic industrial robots have yet to improve grabbing and recognition capabilities, and enhance application in different scenarios, Yu Haibin, director of Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science told Economic Information Daily.
The major weak link lies in unsophisticated sensing and control technology, coupled with dependence of high-precision reducer and control system on foreign countries, added Zuo.
When promoting the development of industrial robots, provinces and cities need to guide enterprises to apply robots based on market demand, bring in more talents, and strengthen critical research, development and application technologies, suggested Zuo. (Edited by Su Dan)