First, the North American robots market had its best opening half ever to being 2017, setting new records in order units, order revenue, shipment units, and shipment revenue. In total, 19,331 robots valued at approximately $1.031 billion were sold in North America during this timeframe, which is the highest level ever recorded to begin a year. This represents 33% growth in units and 26% growth in dollars over 2016. Orders in the automotive industry grew substantially in the first half of the year, increasing 39% in units and 37% in dollars, while non-automotive orders also grew 21% in units and 10% in dollars.
The machine vision market also had its best first-half performance to date, as a total of $1.241 billion was sold in the first six months of the year, with an increase of 11% over the same period in 2016. Machine vision component markets were up 11% in total to $177 million, while systems increased 10% to $1.058 billion. Notable growth rates included lighting (20% to $35 million), smart cameras (16% to $183 million), and optics (16% to $20 million).
Additionally, orders in the motion control and motor products amounted to $1.622 billion, up 14% over the first six months of 2016, while shipments totaled $1.757 billion, up 10% over the first half of 2016. In total, the A3, which is comprised of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA); the Advancing Vision + Imaging Association (AIA); and the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA), is at a record combined membership of 1,064 as of July 31, 2017.
"Year over year, our membership has been on a steady growth trajectory, the result of more companies understanding, and embracing, the direct impact automation can have on their bottom line," said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. "We look forward to the continued advancement of our industry and helping companies of all sizes access the connections, information, and training they need to succeed with automation."
A3 will host the following events this fall:
- The National Robot Safety Conference, October 10-12, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- The MCMA Technical Conference, October 16-18, Minneapolis, MN, USA
- The Collaborative Robots & Advanced Vision Conference, November 15-16, San Jose, CA, USA