Canadian Packaging

Robotics industry best its been in N.A.

New figures from the Robotic Industries Association shows the North American robotics industry sold the most industrial robots ever during Q2 2012.


August 27, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Ann Arbor, MI—According to statistics from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), North American robotics companies  sold 5,556 robots valued at $403.1-million during Q2 2012, a jump of 14 per cent in units and 28 per cent in dollars over the same period in 2011.

Orders during the first half of 2012 (Q1 and Q2) totaled 10,652 at a value of $747-million which also was an increase over the same period in 2011 by 20 per cent in units and 29 per cent in dollars.

RIA president Jeff Burnstein says his association is excited by these results, but did temper his enthusiasm: “The strong sales reflect increased demand for robotics in industries such as automotive, plastics and rubber, and metals. However, as the economy slows, it’s not clear that these numbers will remain as strong heading forward.”

Statistics for first half 2012 include:

  • Spot welding robots (automotive solutions): +68%
  • Coating & dispensing: +42%
  • Arc welding:  +20%
  • Assembly: +19%

Orders for material removing robotics – a smaller application area – increased by 364 per cent while automotive-related orders accounted for 65 per cent of units and 64 per cent of dollars in the first half of 2012, gains of 44 per cent in units and 56 per cent in dollars over the same period in 2011.

“It’s great that the auto-related numbers continue to post huge gains, but as we know, automotive industry purchases are cyclical,” notes Burnstein. “However, we were disappointed to see non-automotive related orders fall eight percent in units and one percent in dollars in the first half of the year, with even sharper declines in the second quarter alone.”

The RIA estimates that some 220,000 robots are now used in the U.S., just behind Japan.

Founded in 1974, RIA represents some 265 member companies including leading robot manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end users, research groups and consulting firms. RIA’s quarterly statistics report is based on confidential data provided by member companies representing an estimated 90 percent of the North American market.

For more information on RIA and the robotics industry, visit Robotics Online www.robotics.org or contact the association headquarters at 734-994-6088.