Ann Arbor, Michigan – The robotics market in North America posted its second-highest quarter ever in terms of robots ordered in first quarter 2014, according to new statistics from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.
A total of 5,938 robots valued at $338 million were ordered by companies in North America in first quarter 2014, coming in just shy of the all-time record of 6,235 robots valued at $385 million in fourth quarter 2012. Units ordered grew one percent while order dollars fell one percent when compared to first quarter 2013 figures. When sales by North American robot suppliers to companies outside North America are included, the totals are 6,491 robots valued at $372 million.
“RIA is thrilled to see many new companies adopting robotics and realizing the benefits of automation, as evidenced by the strong start in 2014,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA.
The automotive industry is still the largest customer for robotics in North America, representing 58% of total orders, but non-automotive industries have continued their rapid growth. The top industries in terms of growth for first quarter 2014 were food and consumer goods (+91%), plastics and rubber (+55%), and life sciences (+36%). “Robotics for use in non-automotive industries is a hot topic right now,” said Alex Shikany, Director of Market Analysis for RIA. “In total, the overall number of robots ordered for use in non-automotive industries grew 18% over first quarter 2013,” he added.
In terms of applications for robot orders, sizeable increases were seen in coating and dispensing (+24%) and assembly (+18%).
RIA estimates that some 228,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the US second only to Japan in robot use. “Many observers believe that only about 10% of the US companies that could benefit from robots have installed any so far,” Burnstein said, “A very large segment of small and medium sized companies who may have the most to gain are just now beginning to seriously investigate robotics.”
About Robotic Industries Association (RIA)
Founded in 1974, RIA now represents over 320 robot manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end users, consulting firms, research groups, and educational institutions. RIA is best known for its biennial Automate Show & Conference (next event slated for March 23-26, 2015 in Chicago); the ANSI/RIA National Robot Safety Standard and annual National Robot Safety Conference (October 14-16, 2014, Ann Arbor), and the annual Robotics Industry Forum (January 21-23, 2015, Orlando). The association also provides quarterly robotics statistics and has a content-rich Robotics Online website attracting hundreds of thousands of visits a year from throughout the world. For more details on RIA, visit http://www.robotics.org or call 734/994-6088.
About Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
The Association for Advancing Automation is the global advocate for the benefits of automating. A3 promotes automation technologies and ideas that transform the way business is done. A3 is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, and Motion Control Association (MCA). RIA, AIA, and MCA combined represent 750 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world that drive automation forward. For more information, please visit our websites: A3; RIA; AIA; MCA.