North American robot unit orders are up 5.2 percent through the third quarter year-over-year, according to the Robotics Industries Association in Ann Arbor, part of the Association for Advancing Automation. So far this year, North American companies have ordered 23,894 robotic units valued at $1.3 billion.
“We continue to see improvement in the robotics market,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of the associations. “At this time last year, we saw a dip in orders of around 15 percent, so it’s encouraging to see a recovery through the third quarter. We hope to end the year strong and see growth in 2020 as well.”
During the third quarter, North American companies ordered 7,446 robots valued at $438 million. Units ordered and revenue are up 1 percent in the quarter compared to 2018.
The largest driver of the year-to-date growth in units ordered was an increase in orders from automotive OEMs at 47 percent, followed by plastics and rubber at 15 percent, and food and consumer goods at 4 percent.
Burnstein says he sees interest in robotics from companies that have not used them before; prospective users from a variety of industries were among the more than 300 attendees at the Collaborative Robots, Advanced Vision, and AI Conference in November in California. Orders from nonautomotive customers remain near record numbers.
The Association for Advancing Automation is the global advocate for the benefits of automating. It is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association, AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, Motion Control and Motor Association, and A3 Mexico. Combined, the organizations represent more than 1,250 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups, and consulting firms throughout the world.