REPORT: Automation rebound in 2003 with 15 percent growth

AUG. 11–NEW TRIPOLI, Penn.–Factory automation tools, which dropped 8 percent in 2002, will fully recover in 2003 with a 15 percent increase, according to the report Semiconductor Factory Automation: Technology Issues And Market Forecasts.

The market for carrier transport systems includes interbay and intrabay equipment and WIP storage, had Daifuku with a 28% share in 2002, ahead of Brooks Automation and Asyst Technologies.

“The carrier transport is extremely volatile,” says Robert N. Castellano, president of The Information Network. “That market dropped 50 percent in 1998 and increased only 6 percent in 1999, significantly less than the equipment and IC markets. Growth in 2000 was 80 percent. In 2002, the market dropped 8 percent, while the entire front-end equipment market dropped 26 percent.

Significant underinvestment since 2000 forces an upgrade cycle even in the absence of robust economic activity. This will equate to 15 percent growth in 2003 and 26 percent growth in 2004.

“We are currently tracking 13 300-millimeter fabs that are slated to begin operations in 2003,” added Castellano.

The robotic sector, which saw sales dip 38 percent in 2001 and another 8 percent in 2002, will increase 13% in 2003.

Brooks Automation led the market in 2002 with a 54 percent share followed by Genmark with a 14 percent share.

The Information Network is a leading consulting and market research company addressing the semiconductor, computer, and telecommunications industries.


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