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North American industrial robot sales are on track to reach record highs for the second year in a row according to the Association of Advancing Automation (A3).
North American companies purchased 35,804 units valued at $1.875 billion in the first nine months of the year, from January to September, 2022. This is a 24% increase in units ordered and a 27% increase in revenue over the same period in 2021, setting the industry up to break records again in 2022.
“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,” Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, said. “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.”
While Q3 sales have dipped slightly from Q2, which saw record-high quarterly sales, it still outperformed Q3 of last year. In Q3 of this year, North American companies ordered 11,901 robots valued at $626 million. This is a 20% and 22% increase respectively over Q3 of last year.
A majority of sales, around 55% went to automotive-related customers, while 45% went to non-automotive customers. Non-automotive sales saw increases during Q3 compared to the same quarter last year in semiconductor and electronics, which made up 44% of sales, life sciences, 33% of sales, and food and consumer good, which made up 1% of sales.
Sales in the automotive industry drove the record-breaking numbers the industry saw during Q1 and Q2 of 2022. 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 Q2.
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.