North American robotics continues record growth

RIA reports the market set new records for the first nine months of 2016.

RIA reports the market set new records for the first nine months of 2016.

Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in the first nine months of 2016, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 23,985 robots valued at $1.3 billion were ordered from North American companies in the first nine months of 2016, an increase of 7% in units and 3% in dollars over the same period in 2015, which held the previous record. Robot shipments to North American customers through September totaled 22,050 robots valued at $1.3 billion, breaking the previous record set in 2015 by 3% in units and 11% in dollars.

The record sales levels were driven primarily by strong growth in demand from automotive OEMs and component suppliers. Robot orders from these two sectors were up 14% through September. Outside of automotive, robots ordered into the food and consumer goods industry increased substantially by 40% year over year. RIA estimates that some 269,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to only Japan and China.

“It’s a great time to get involved with robotics,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. “Today’s robotics industry offers innovative products, fulfilling employment opportunities, and competitive advantages for a wide variety of companies.”

RIA and its parent group the Association for Advancing Automation are looking forward to a record Automate 2017 trade show in Chicago.

“With five months to go, the exhibit floor at Automate 2017 is already over 20% larger than our final 2015 event,” Burnstein said. “Small and medium sized companies, many of whom are just now beginning to explore automation, make up the core of the Automate 2017 attendee base. This event is designed to showcase the latest and greatest innovations in automation, and we are excited for a great event in 2017.”

Automate, North America’s largest automation show, will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., from April 3-6, 2017. The exhibition is free to attend, and registration is now open on the Automate 2017 website.

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