North American robotics market posts strongest first quarter to date

North American robotics companies posted the strongest ever first quarter results on record, according to a new report from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

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North American roboticscompanies posted the strongest ever first quarter results on record, according to a new report from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

In total, 9,773 robots valued at approximately $516 million were ordered from North American robotics companies during the first quarter of 2017, which represents growth of 32% in units over the same period last year, which held the previous record. Order revenue grew 28% over Q1 of 2016, and robot shipments also reached new heights, with 8,824 robots valued at $494 million shipped to North American customers in the opening quarter of the year. This represents 24% grow in units and 5% in dollars, year over year.

"The automation industry continues to grow robustly as companies invest to increase productivity and boost competitiveness while also providing opportunities for workers," said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. "We are excited to hear about the new jobs being created and how companies such as Amazon, GM, and others are training and retraining their workforce to enable them to embrace these higher skilled jobs."

Overall growth was aided by a significant increase in orders in the automotive industry, as robots ordered by automotive component suppliers were up 53%, while orders by automotive OEMs increased by 32%. Additional industries that saw growth include metals (54%), semiconductors/electronics (22%), food and consumer goods (15%), welding (102 %), coating & dispensing (64 %), and spot welding (36 %) applications.

RIA estimates that 250,000 robots are now in use in the United States, which is third in the world behind Japan and China. The health of the market, suggests the RIA is reflected in the attendance rate of Automate 2017, which saw 37% more attendees than the 2015 show.

This fall, the RIA and AIA will hold its first Collaborative Robots & Advanced Vision Conference, which will take place November 15-16 in San Jose, CA, USA. More information on this event will be made available soon.

View more information on the RIA.

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