Robot sales set another record in North America
The North American robotics market has set new records to begin 2016, according to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.
A total of 7,406 robots valued at approximately $402 million were ordered from North American companies during the first quarter of 2016. The number of units ordered in the first three months of 2016 is a record among opening quarters, growing seven percent over the same period in 2015. Order revenue, however, decreased by eight percent in the first quarter. Robot shipments also set a new opening quarter record, with 7,125 robots valued at $448 million being shipped to North American customers. This represents growth of two percent in units and 21% in dollars over the same quarter of last year.
Growth in non-automotive industries soared in the first quarter of 2016. Robots ordered by the semiconductor & electronics (90%), food and consumer goods (82%), and plastics and rubber (44%) industries all experienced sizable increases over the same period in 2015. While it is still the largest industry in terms of volume for robotics, orders to the automotive industry grew only one percent in the first quarter of 2016. In terms of applications, the biggest increases were realized in spot welding (31%), assembly (15%), and material handling (6%).
RIA estimates that 262,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to Japan and China in robot use.
Robotic Industries Association (RIA)
– Edited from a RIA press release by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering robotics stories.