Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings has decided to establish a joint venture robot production factory in China to speed up the expansion of its presence in the global robot market.
The company announced on Sept. 20 that it has signed an agreement with Chinese robot maker Jiangsu Hagong Intelligent Robot to establish a joint venture company for industrial robots.
The agreement was signed at the China International Industrial Exposition (CIIF 2018) in Shanghai, China.
Jiangsu Hagong Intelligent Robot, the largest automobile welder and robot company in China, has been expanding its robot-related business by stepping up R&D on artificial intelligence (AI).
The joint venture is expected to have capital of over 30 billion won (US$27 million). The size of each company's investment has not yet been determined. The two companies agreed to set up a factory near Shanghai by the first half of next year to produce up to 20,000 units of industrial robots annually.
"The joint venture is expected to sell more than 17,000 industrial robots in China by 2022," said an official of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.
According to a recent report released by the Korea Development Bank, sales of industrial robots in China surged 58 percent to 138,000 units last year. This volume was the largest in the world. China already accounts for 36.3% of the global industrial robot market. The nation has great growth potential, too. The Chinese government has designated industrial robots as one of China’s top 10 development items through 'China Manufacturing 2025' and intensively nurtures the Chinese industrial robot industry.
"We will seek to establish more joint ventures with Chinese companies in the future,” said an official from Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings. “We will develop various products such as industrial robots and service robots."
The joint venture represents the first case of exporting Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings’ cutting-edge smart factory technology that assembles robots. This deal has paved the way for Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings to export robot technology to other countries as well as China.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings is strengthening collaboration with domestic and overseas robot technology companies. In May, the company forged strategic partnership with Kuka Robotics of Germany, which is enjoying the third largest share in the world robot market. Also in the works is Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings’ development of service robots with Naver Labs, a research and development corporation of Naver.