More safety, productivity: 2007 robot orders up 24%

North American manufacturers ordered 24% more robots; total of $1.07 billion, RIA says.


Ann Arbor, MI – Orders to North American manufacturing companies from North American-based robotics companies rose 24% in 2007, reversing declines in 2006, says a report from

Robotic Industries Association (RIA)

, the industry trade group. The orders represented 15,856 robots with a value of $1.07 billion. Adding in the sales of companies beyond North America brings the figures to 17,261 robots valued at $1.15 billion.

''We're obviously very pleased to see strong growth in 2007, especially following the 30% decline in 2006,'' said Åke Lindqvist of ABB Robotics and chairman of RIA's Statistics Committee. ''Most of the growth last year resulted from sales to automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. In this market segment, which accounted for 64% of all orders, robot sales in North America rose 43%. Orders to non-automotive markets grew less than one percent and accounted for just 36% of all orders. The robotics industry's future expansion depends upon reaching more non-automotive customers, and we still have a long way to go. However, we are encouraged by a 16% gain in sales to life sciences/pharmaceutical/biomedical customers and an 8% increase in sales to food and consumer goods companies.''

RIA plans to reach new robotic customers

ng robots increased 100%, coating and dispensing rose 38%, material handling jumped 14%, and arc welding jumped 10%.


RIA Robots 2008 Conference

(June 11, 12, Boston, MA)

Information for non-automotive robotics customers

is being incorporated into the RIA Website. The latest addition is a tutorial for companies involved in the plastics industry, making a strong case for using robots in various applications.

RIA estimates that approximately 178,000 robots are at work in U.S. factories, positioning the U.S. second to Japan in overall robot use.

Robot safety: RIA help includes software that helps with safety

to: Identify hazards, assess risk for identified hazards, and reduce risks in a structured method. Robot Risk Assessment, RIA says, helps improve product designs and processes, provides a systematic method for conducting a task-based risk assessment, eliminates or controls hazards, incorporating safety by design.

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