North American robot sales increase slightly in 1Q02

Ann Arbor, Mich. - The North American robotics industry showed signs of stabilizing in the first quarter of 2002 (1Q02), according to recent research by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).


Ann Arbor, Mich. - The North American robotics industry showed signs of stabilizing in the first quarter of 2002 (1Q02), according to recent research by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). A total of 2,350 robots were ordered by customers through March 2002, which was an increase of 1% over the same period in 2001. This was the first upturn for North American robotics sales since midway through 2001.

Meanwhile, weakness in sales to international markets led to an overall decline of 2% in new or-ders of robots received by North American robotics firms.

"While one quarter's results can't assure us that the bottom for robots sales has been hit, we're hopeful that the worst is behind us now," says Donald Vincent, RIA's executive vp. He added that 1Q01's results trailed 1Q00 by 36%. "Still, 2002 is certainly off to a better start than last year with important signs of stability emerging."

Mr. Vincent added that bright signs include increased sales of robots used for spot welding, arc welding and dispensing and coating. These applications are often found in the automotive industry, which is the largest consumer of robots. "A sustain increase in orders from automotive manufacturers and suppliers would be a great shot in the arm for the robotics industry," he says.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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