Despite economic headwinds, sales of commercial robots in North America reached record levels in the first nine months of 2022, according to the Association for Advancing Automation, or A3. The organization said that this year will likely with the highest number of robots sold for the second year in a row.
From January to September, North American companies purchased 35,804 units valued at $1.875 billion, up 24% for units ordered and 27% for revenue over the same period in 2021, said A3.
“Ongoing labor shortages, easier-to-use robotic solutions and new industries embracing robotics, such as restaurants, retail, construction, and even agriculture, have led to record units sold here in North America this year,” stated Jeff Burnstein, president of A3.
“Investing in automation is increasingly seen as a necessary step for performing many of the difficult-to-staff tasks that are necessary to compete today, and we see 2022 ending on another record high,” he said.
Q3 sales up over 2021, down slightly over Q2
In the third quarter 2022 alone, North American companies ordered 11,901 robots valued at $626 million, up 20% and 22%, respectively, over the third quarter of 2021, said A3. This is the second-highest quarter ever, after Q2 2022, it said.
Similar to the second quarter of 2022, automotive-related customers ordered more robots in the third quarter of 2022 than non-automotive customers, with 55% of units going to the automotive industry and 45% going elsewhere.
On the non-automotive side, the semiconductor/electronics (44%), life sciences (33%), and food/consumer goods (1%) industries ordered more robots than the same quarter last year.
“As we’ll see at trade shows like Automate, innovative companies around the world are emerging with automation solutions for tasks such as drywall finishing, shelf-scanning, food preparation and service, fruit picking, hospital delivery, and more,” Burnstein added.
“While interest in robots might fluctuate during any quarter in any given industry, the steadily increasing numbers shows the value more industries see in investing in automation,” he asserted.
A3 to host events including Automate 2023 to discuss robotics trends
The Association for Advancing Automation claimed that it is “the leading global advocate for the benefits of automating.” The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based organization's members represent over 1,100 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, systems integrators, end users, academic institutions, research groups, and consulting firms.
A3 will host Automate 2023 from May 22 to 25 in Detroit. The event will showcase the latest in cutting-edge robotics as well as vision, artificial intelligence, motion control, and more technologies. Registration for the four-day show is free.
In addition to Automate, A3 hosts other industry events, including the A3 Business Forum from Jan. 16 to 18, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. It will also put on the International Robotics Safety Conference, the AI & Smart Automation Conference, Autonomous Mobile Robots & Logistics Week, The Vision Show, and A3 TechCon.