North American Robotics Market Breaks Records in 2016

The Robotic Industries Association reports strong growth, particularly within the automotive industry.

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The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) says that in 2016 the North American robotics market broke all-time records for orders and shipments. Over the course of the year, 34,606 robots valued at approximately $1.9 billion were ordered in North America, representing growth of 10 percent in units over 2015. The automotive industry experienced another strong year with orders growing 17 percent. Units shipped to North American customers also grew by 10 percent, with 30,875 robots valued at $1.8 billion shipped in 2016. Shipments into the automotive market grew 25 percent relative to 2015.

The fourth quarter of 2016 alone saw North American orders of 10,621 robots valued at $561 million, a growth rate of 18 percent in units ordered and 21 percent in revenue over the fourth quarter of 2015. Fourth-quarter shipments grew 33 percent on a unit basis with shipments of 8,825 robots valued at $494 million. Orders for robots spiked 61 percent in assembly applications and increased 24 percent in spot welding.

“Automation played a vital role in spurring economic growth in North American manufacturing and services industries in 2016,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation, of which RIA is a member. “We anticipate accelerated growth based on smarter, more connected and more collaborative robots in the coming years.”