The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has reported that the North American robotics market has experienced its best quarter ever—up 28% compared to the first quarter of 2021 with a total of 11,595 industrial robots ordered throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, revenue rose by 43% and reached a value of USD 664 million.
IFR reports that these results are part of a worldwide trend with preliminary data from 2021 showing that 486,700 industrial robots have been installed globally making a 27% increase year over year.
“A strong recovery of the international robotics markets is currently in progress: Worldwide installations of industrial robots in 2021 even exceed the record year 2018,” says Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
Automotive is a Big Player
In its findings, the U.S. has the second-largest production volume of cars in the world. Car component manufacturers accounted for 47% of orders in Q1 2022—growing by 15% year over year. Continuing to create demand for industrial robots, several auto manufacturers have announced investments to further fit their factories for new EV models or to increase capacity for battery production.
Worldwide installations for automotive industrial robots increased 37% year over year with 109,400 units in 2021.
“In North America, first-quarter order volumes for both units and revenue were at all-time highs. Across industries, the post-COVID crisis boom creates double-digit growth over the same quarter of last year,” says Guerry.
But Other Industries are Even Bigger
However, IFR found that non-automotive manufacturers have ordered more robots than even automotive manufacturers. The electrical & electronics industry is the biggest and fastest adopter with a record of 132,200 units installed in 2021. In North America, automotive orders in Q1 2022 were 5,476 units, while non-automotive orders were 6,122 units for the same period.