August 22, 2013
North American robotics companies have set new sales records through June 2013, according to new statistics released from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, Mich.
A total of 10,854 robots valued at $679.3 million were ordered from North American robotics companies in the first six months of 2013, an increase of 1.9 percent in units over the same period in 2012 and 1.3 percent above the previous first-half record set in 2005.
Shipments to North American customers through June totaled 11,308 robots valued at $715.1 million, breaking the previous first-half records set in 2012 by 11.0 percent in units and 10.4 percent in dollars. Overall, three out of the four orders and shipments categories tracked by RIA set new records.
In the auto industry segment, traditionally highly cyclical, orders through June were up sharply to tier suppliers, down to OEMs, for an overall decline of 5 percent.
RIA estimates that some 230,000 robots are now at use in U.S. factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in robot use. "Many observers believe that only about 10 percent of the U.S. companies that could benefit from robots have installed any so far," said Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. "A very large segment of small and medium-sized companies who may have the most to gain are just now beginning to seriously investigate robotics."
RIA represents about 300 companies, including robot manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups, and consulting firms.