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Robot sales in North America reached a record high for the third straight quarter, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). North American companies bought 12,305 robots in Q2 2022, a 6% increase from Q1 of 2022, the industry’s last biggest quarter for sales.
This increase in sales was driven by a resurgence in sales in the automotive industry, as well as ongoing demand for automation in logistics for e-commerce. During Q2, 59% of sales came from automotive customers.
While automotive sales have traditionally been the backbone of the industry, that trend began shifting in 2020, when non-automotive sales outpaced automotive sales for the first time. Non-automotive sales have continued to outpace automotive sales through 2021 and into 2022 until this quarter.
The remaining 41% of sales in Q2 came from non-automotive customers, particularly in the food and consumer goods industry. Unit orders increased 13% in the food and consumer goods industry over the same quarter in 2021.
“While automotive entities have long been the frontrunner in deploying robotics and automation, the last few years have seen food & consumer goods, life sciences and other industries grow at even higher rates,” A3 President Jeff Burnstein said. “While this quarter shows a marked shift back to historic norms with more robots going to automotive than to any other industry, the continued growth of robotics in food & consumer goods companies especially demonstrates the ongoing need to automate warehouse logistics for handling the exploding growth of e-commerce.”
Sales in Q2 brought in $585 million in revenue, a 9% decrease from Q1, the highest quarter on record for revenue, when the industry brought in $646 million in revenue.
It should be noted that A3 only collects sales data on traditional industrial robots. It doesn’t collect data about autonomous mobile robots or collaborative robotic arms. If A3 recorded sales for these types of robots, too, the sales numbers would be even higher.