June 9, 2008 – Semiconductor equipment sales in general are expected to slump in 2008, and the automation segment is no exception, though there is some motion in the sector among suppliers, according to a brief analysis by The Information Network.
Sales of automated material handling systems (AMHS) is seen dropping 34% in 2008, but will gain some of that back in 2009 (+19%), the firm projects. Meanwhile, the market for atmospheric robotics will essentially make up ground lost in 2008 (-13%) in 2009 (+14%).
“Robotics and integrated manufacturing are being deployed in all 300mm fabs to connect to processing equipment and central computers,” notes the firm’s president, Robert Castellano, in a statement. “But if fabs are not being built and processing equipment not being sold, the automation sector will suffer.”
In the vacuum robotics segment (systems contained within vacuum-based tools), captive OEM products are losing share to merchant suppliers whose experience is in the robotics components instead of the integrated processing tools, he suggests. Merchant vacuum robotics is dominated by Brooks Automation (90% share), while Applied Materials is tops in the captive sector.
For atmospheric robotics, where only 27% of robotic tool sales were from captive suppliers, Brooks led with a 64% share, followed by Yaskawa and Genmark.
For AMHS (“interbay”) equipment, Daifuku was tops in 2007 (41% share) followed by Asyst/Shinko, the firm notes.