Machine Design

Orders are up, say industrial robot makers

New orders for industrial robots jumped 28% through September 2003, according to figures released by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). North American robotics suppliers received a total of 10,382 robots valued at $727.5 million through the first nine months of 2003, which is an increase of 28% in units and 15% in dollars over the same period in 2002.

"We're encouraged by the fact that nearly as many robots have been ordered through three quarters of 2003 as were ordered in the entire year of 2002," said Donald A. Vincent, executive vice president of the RIA. Indications are that manufacturers that had been postponing new investments have begun purchasing capital equipment.

Automotive manufacturers and suppliers remain the largest purchasers of robotic equipment. Material handling is still the largest application area, followed by spot and arc welding, coating and dispensing, assembly, and material removal.

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