A total of 21,235 robots valued at $1.2bn were ordered from North American companies in the first nine months of 2014, an increase of 35 percent in units and 22 percent in dollars over the same period in 2013.
Robot shipments to North American customers through September totaled 18,490 robots valued at $1.1bn, breaking the previous record set in 2013 by five percent in units and two percent in dollars.
Sales activity continued to be especially strong in the automotive industry, with orders up 48 percent year to date over 2013. Non-automotive industries, such as electronics, food, consumer goods and metals also posted double-digit growth in the first nine months of the year.
“The robotics industry in North America is having its best year ever in 2014,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. “Along with record performance, we are seeing more interest in robotics and related technologies than ever before. Companies of all sizes continue to recognize that automation makes them stronger global competitors. It’s also interesting to note that as robot sales boom, U.S. unemployment continues to fall, and is currently at its lowest level since July of 2008, further evidence that robotics helps save and create jobs.”
“We’ve seen substantial growth in robot applications across the board,” added Alex Shikany, RIA Director of Market Analysis. “Spot welding (76 percent), arc welding (39 percent) and assembly (29 percent) applications have recorded the highest year-over-year growth through September.” RIA estimates that some 230,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in robot use.
Founded in 1974, RIA is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to improving the regional, national and global competitiveness of the North American manufacturing and service sectors through promotion and enhancement of robotics and related automation. RIA represents 340 robot manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end users, consulting firms, research groups, and educational institutions.
Source: Robotic Industries Association
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