North American robotics orders shot up 28% in first three quarters of 2003

Ann Arbor, MI—New orders for industrial robots received by North American manufacturers increased 28% to 10,382 orders in the first three quarters of 2003 (1-3Q03) from 8,101 orders during the same period in 2002, according to recent research by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

12/16/2003


Ann Arbor, MI— New orders for industrial robots received by North American manufacturers increased 28% to 10,382 orders in the first three quarters of 2003 (1-3Q03) from 8,101 orders during the same period in 2002, according to recent research by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). Meanwhile, the value of these orders increased 15% to $727.5 million during 1-3Q03 from $633.4 million during 1-3Q02.

These totals include 10,051 orders for industrial robots worth $698.2 million from North American manufacturers during 1-2Q03, as well as 331 more orders worth $29.3 million from manufacturers outside North America.

“While it’s too early to declare that the robotics industry is on the road to new record sales, we’re very encouraged by the fact that nearly as many robots were ordered through three quarters of 2003 as were ordered during all of 2002,” says Donald Vincent, RIA’s executive VP. “However, it’s clear there is still a great deal of uncertainly about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. Another downturn could put the brakes on the recovery in capital equipment spending, which could lengthen the time it takes for the robotics industry to surpass the record sales it posted in its peak years in 1999 and 2000.”

RIA’s study also found that, while automotive manufacturers and suppliers remain the largest customers for the robotics industry, other markets, such as fabricated metals, food and consumer goods, semiconductors and electronics, plastics and rubber, and life sciences continue to show strength. Material handling continues to be largest application area for robotics, followed by spot welding, arc welding, coating and dispensing, assembly, and material removal.

RIA adds that approximately 132,000 robots are presently installed in U.S. factories, which places the U.S. second to Japan in use of robotics.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com





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