Sales of machine vision, robotics, and motion control systems and components in North America have set new records in 2017, according to a new report from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3).
"What I find most telling about these results is not simply that the automation market continues to grow, but that it is growing in such a wide variety of industries," according toJeff Burnstein, President of A3. "New industries continue to embrace robotics, vision, and motion, reaping the benefits of automation."
In the North American machine vision and imaging market in 2017, more components and systems were sold than ever before, as financial transactions grew 14.6% over the previous year to $2.633 billion. This figure includes both systems and components, with total systems markets increasing 14.8% to $2.262 billion and total component markets growing 12.3% to $359 million. In total financial transactions in the machine vision market, the year looked like this: $596.5 million (Q1), $644.9 million (Q2), $696.4 million (Q3, an all-time high), and $694.9 million (Q4). This brought the total year figures to 18.2% to $604.6 million in systems, and 5.7% to $87.8 million in components on a year-over-year basis.
In the robotics market, units, order revenue, shipment units, and shipment revenue were all up for 2017 in North America. Customers purchased 34,904 total units representing $1.896 billion in total sales for the year, which shows growth of 0.9% in units and 0.1% in dollars from 2016. Automotive-related orders were down compared to the previous year (-7.3% in units and -3.8% in dollars), but, non-automotive orders fueled the rise in 2017 with 20.5% growth in units and 7.3% in dollars, according to A3.
For robot shipments, 33,575 robots valued at $1.938 billion shipped to customers last year, which represents an 8.7% growth in units and 6.9% in dollars over 2016, with non-automotive related shipments once again providing the growth. The largest growth rates for units shipped came from the plastics and rubber (59.6%), metals (53.9%), and food and consumer goods (44.2%). Automotive shipments were flat in both units and dollars compared to 2016.
Additionally, shipments of motion control and motor products grew 8.1%, from $3.245 billion in 2016 to $3.559 billion in 2017.
View the A3 press release.