Robotics orders, sales continue upward trend

North American robotics companies posted the strongest ever first-quarter results, with a growth of 32% in units over the same period in 2016 according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

05/04/2017


North American robotics companies posted the strongest ever first-quarter results, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). Both robot orders and shipments achieved record levels.

A total of 9,773 robots valued at $516 million were ordered from North American robotics companies during the first quarter of 2017. This represents growth of 32% in units over the same period in 2016, which held the previous record. Order revenue grew 28% over the first quarter of last year. Robot shipments also reached new heights, with 8,824 robots valued at $494 million shipped to North American customers in the opening quarter of the year. This represents growth of 24% in units and five percent in dollars over the same period in 2016.

"The automation industry continues to grow robustly as companies invest to increase productivity and boost competitiveness while also providing opportunities for workers," said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. "We are excited to hear about the new jobs being created and how companies such as Amazon, GM, and others are training and retraining their workforce to enable them to embrace these higher skilled jobs."

Growth in automotive industry

Growth in automotive related industries soared in the first quarter of 2017. Robots ordered by automotive component suppliers were up 53 percent while orders by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) increased 32%. Another good sign for the future of robotics was the continued growth in non-automotive industries like metals (54%), semiconductors/electronics (22%), and food & consumer goods (15%).

The biggest increases were in arc welding (102%), coating & dispensing (64%), and spot welding (36%) applications. RIA estimates that 250,000 robots are now in use in the United States, the third highest in the world behind Japan and China.

Automate 2017 attendance up from previous show

Automate 2017, which was held in Chicago in April 2017, featured more than 400 exhibitors displaying their latest technologies and services, including global suppliers of robotics, motion control, motors, vision systems, metrology, software and system integration services for enterprises large and small. Over 20,000 people attended Automate 2017, including over 1,000 participants in the 120+ Automate conference sessions held at the event.

"All of our statistics increased significantly from the last Automate show in 2015," Burnstein said. "Total number of show attendees jumped 37% and conference participation grew by over 90% compared to 2015. This growth demonstrates that there is an increasing need for an event like Automate that provides practical, real-world solutions for companies currently automating or considering automation."

Robotic Industries Association (RIA)

www.robotics.org 

- Edited from an RIA press release by CFE Media. The RIA is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a CFE Media content partner. See more Control Engineering robotics stories.



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