In the first half of 2019, the North American industrial robotics market grew 7.2%. From January to June, North American companies ordered 16,488 industrial robots, valued at $869 million. These numbers were reported by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), which is part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3).
The largest driver of the year-to-date growth of industrial robots was an 83% increase in units ordered by automotive OEMs, according to the RIA. Other industries that saw increases include:
- Semiconductor and electronics (12%)
- Life sciences (8%)
- Food and consumer goods (3%)
The chart below summarizes the growth rates of industrial robots for each industry.
“Robot use continues to grow, which is helping make U.S. companies more competitive and leading to new job growth,” said A3 President Jeff Burnstein. “We are currently experiencing the greatest period of robot expansion in history – over 180,000 robots have been shipped to American companies since 2010, and more than 1.2 million new manufacturing jobs have been created during this time.”
Industrial robots bounce back in Q2
In the second quarter alone, North American companies ordered 8,572 industrial robots, valued at $446 million. This represents a growth of 19.2% in number of industrial robots ordered, and a 0.6% boost in dollars compared to the same time period in 2018.
The RIA said in June 2019 orders of industrial robots in North America for Q1 2019 declined slightly in comparison with the first quarter of last year. From January through March 2019, North American companies ordered a total of 7,876 robots worth $423 million, said the RIA. That’s 3.5% fewer units and 3.2% less in value than in the first quarter of 2018.
While some robotics companies blamed the latest U.S. government shutdown and trade tensions with China for a drop in orders, Alex Shikany, VP of Membership and Business Intelligence at A3, recently told The Robot Report there wasn’t enough data yet to support that conclusion.
Companies in North America installed robots at a record pace in 2018, according to the RIA. The 35,880 units shipped in 2018 marked a 7 percent increase from 2017. And is the United States, specifically, robot shipments increased 15% to a record 28,478.