The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) has announced that in 2016, the North American robotics market broke all-time records for orders and shipments. During the year, 34606 robots valued at approximately $1.9 billion USD were ordered in North America, representing growth of 10% in units over 2015. The automotive industry experienced another strong year with orders growing 17%. Units shipped to North American customers also grew by 10%, with 30875 robots valued at $1.8 billion USD shipped in 2016. Shipments into the automotive market grew 25% relative to 2015.
Strength in Q4
The fourth quarter of 2016 alone saw North American orders of 10621 robots valued at $561 million USD, a growth rate of 18% in units ordered and 21% in revenue over the fourth quarter of 2015. Q4 shipments grew 33% on a unit basis with shipments of 8825 robots valued at $494 million USD.
Hottest applications and industries
Orders for robots spiked 61% in assembly applications and increased 24% in spot welding. The food and consumer goods industry increased orders for robots by 32% in 2016. Robots in these industries can be used in a variety of functions, including improving food safety, performing repetitive primary packaging tasks such as bin picking, tray loading and bottle handling, and assisting with secondary packaging tasks such as case packing, bundling, bagging and palletizing.
Automate 2017 to break attendance records
Capping its most successful year in history, the robotics, vision and motion control industries are preparing to come together for Automate 2017, 3–6 April in Chicago. Over 300 exhibitors and a record 20000 attendees are expected to gather, including corporate decision-makers as well as press and industry analysts.