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Robot sales soar by a record 35% in North America

28 October, 2014

Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in the first nine months of 2014, according to the industry’s trade group, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). A total of 21,235 robots, worth $1.2bn, were ordered from North American companies in the first nine months of 2014 – an increase of 35% in terms of the numbers sold, and 22% in monetary value, over the same period in 2013.

Sales were especially strong to the automotive industry, with orders up 48% on the same period in 2013. Non-automotive sectors, such as electronics, food and consumer goods, and metals, also posted double-digit growth rates in the first nine months of the year.

“We’ve seen substantial growth in robot applications across the board,” reports Alex Shikany, RIA’s director of market analysis. “Spot welding (up 76%), arc welding (39%), and assembly (29%) applications have recorded their highest year-over-year growth through September.”

The RIA estimates that there are now around 230,000 robots in use in US factories – making its robot population second only to that in Japan.

“The robotics industry in North America is having its best year ever in 2014,” says RIA president, Jeff Burnstein. “Along with record performance, we are seeing more interest in robotics and related technologies than ever before. Companies of all sizes continue to recognise that automation makes them stronger global competitors. It’s also interesting to note that as robot sales boom, US unemployment continues to fall, and is currently at its lowest level since July of 2008, further evidence that robotics helps to save and create jobs.”

The RIA, founded in 1974, represents 340 robot manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end-users, consulting firms, research groups, and educational institutions.

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