Machine Design
North American Robotics Market Soars to All-Time High in 2015 Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

North American Robotics Market Soars to All-Time High in 2015

The Robotic Industries Association estimates that 232,000 robots populate U.S. factories, placing the U.S. second behind Japan in overall robot usage.

According to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) trade group, the North American robotics market has seen record increases in the first half of 2015. Over 14,230 robots were ordered from North American robotics companies during the past six months, with total purchases valued at $840 million. Results show a 1% increase in units and 7% uptick in revenue since the record-breaking first half of 2014.

“The interest in robotics remains strong, not just in North America, but all over the world, as companies recognize that robots can help them improve productivity, product quality, and flexibility,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of the RIA.

Semiconductor and life science companies increased their purchases by 30 and 8%, respectively, while purchases made by automotive-component companies jumped 23%. In contrast, purchases from automotive OEMs dropped by 18% off of the industry’s record high in the first half of 2014.

“Robots ordered for use in coating/dispensing and material-handling applications grew 36% and 27% respectively through June,” says Alex Shikany, RIA’s Director of Market Analysis. “Material handling is the largest category we measure and touches many important industries to the robotics market. It’s encouraging to see such strong growth in this segment.” Shikany adds that the notable increase in material-handling applications can be traced, to some degree, to the growth in non-automotive industries such as semiconductors/electronics, life sciences, and others.

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