This year saw the best opening quarter for North American robotics orders, the industrys trade group, Robotic Industries Association (RIA), reported today.
The 7,406 total orders from January through March 2016 was a 7% increase from the previous years first quarter of 6,895. The total value of these sales is approximately $402 million, a drop of 8% from the same period last year.
It is encouraging to see so many new companies adopting robotics for use in their operations, said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. Companies of all sizes are realizing that robots are more affordable than ever before and can help them increase their productivity to remain competitive in todays global economy.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Ella, 5, and Miraan Jawed, 5, walk with a 'Meccanoid G15 KS' robot outside Hamleys on Regent Street on June 25, 2015 in London, England. The robot, which is pre-programmed with over 1000 phrases and responds to voice commands, sells for 440. The Hamleys toy shop have made their predictions for the top selling toys for Christmas 2015. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Non-automotive uses sky rocked in some industries. Robotics deployment in the semiconductor & electronics sector nearly doubled, an increase of 90%, and the food & consumer goods industry increased by 82%.
The 7,125 robots shipped to North American customers, valued at $448 million, were also the most for the first quarter. While thats only a 2% increase from last year, that a 21% growth in revenue. RIA estimates 262,000 robots are currently working in North American factories.
Here's a look at the last five years of robot growth, according to the RIA stats:
For those interested in a closer look at some of the robots changing manufacturing, RIA and its sister group AIA Advancing Vision + Imaging, hosting the International Collaborative Robots Workshop and The Vision Show, slated for May 3-5, 2016 in Boston. Registration and free show passes are available now, visit Robotics Online and Vision Online respectively for more information on these two collocated events.