The Ann Arbor-based Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a global advocate for the benefits of automating, today announced the results of its research on robotics and automation trends, sales, and growth. The report indicates major growth in several industries, including robotics, motion control and motors, and vision and imaging.
“Year over year, our membership has been on a steady growth trajectory, the result of more companies understanding, and embracing, the direct impact automation can have on their bottom line,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. “We look forward to the continued advancement of our industry and helping companies of all sizes access the connections, information, and training they need to succeed with automation.”
The report indicates the North American robotics market has experienced its best opening half ever during 2017, setting records in order units, order revenue, shipment units, and shipment revenue. In total, 19,331 robots valued at approximately $1.0 billion were sold in North America during the first half of the year, the highest first level recorded to begin a year.
This represents a 33 percent increase in units and 26 percent in dollars compared to 2016. Automotive related orders also grew 39 percent, increasing 39 percent in units and 37 percent in dollars. Non-automotive orders also increased 21 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars compared to the first half of 2016.
Similarly, orders for motion control and motor products totaled $1.6 billion, a 14 percent increase over the first six months of 2016. Shipments totaled $1.8 billion, a 10 percent increase, and the fastest growing categories were motion controllers, sensors and feedback devices, actuators and mechanical systems, and AC drives.
The machine vision market in North America also posted its best first half performance compared to any other recorded year. A total of $1.2 billion was sold since January, an increase of 11 percent over the same time last year. Machine vision component markets also increased 11 percent to a total of $177 million and systems increased 10 percent to $1.1 billion.
A3 experts predict software will trend up, but the following markets will be flat — cameras, lighting, and imaging boards. The optics market is projected to trend down over the next six months.
A3 will host several events this fall to support the automation industry. More information can be found here.