Following the International Federation of Robotics' (IFR) announcement earlier this year that 2013 set an all-time robotics record, the North American Robotics Industries Association announced that 2nd quarter robot sales were the best ever and the 1st and 2nd quarters combined have set a new record.
Since 2010 the robotics market in North America has grown an average of 26% per year leading up to its record setting first half performance in 2014. A record 14,135 robots, valued at $788 million were ordered from North American robotics companies in the first half of 2014, an increase of 30% in units and 16% in revenue over the same period in 2013. The second quarter of 2014 was the main driver of the market’s record first half, with 8,197 robots valued at $450 million sold to North American customers. This performance shattered the previous record for a single quarter, exceeding the fourth quarter of 2012 by 31% in units and 17% in revenue.
This is not an American phenomena although it does reflect that the American economy is continuing to advance at a healthy pace. ChinaDaily reports that Chinese companies are expected to triple their purchases to around 110,000 robots per year by 2020.
“As the world’s second-largest economy, China has huge potential in the robot market, which is prompting more foreign and domestic companies to invest in the sector,” said Wang Ruixiang, head of the China Machinery Industry Federation.
According to a recent United Nations report, China is likely to see a sharp fall in its labor force by 2015. The labor shortage and the lack of advanced technologies represent huge business opportunities for the robotics sector, said Song Xiaogang, secretary-general of the China Robot Industry Alliance.
Good news for robotics worldwide!