The new World Robotics report shows robot installations in the United States were up by 14% to 34,987 units in 2021—the second most successful year in history for the robotics industry in the U.S. This exceeded the pre-pandemic level of 33,378 units in 2019.
“The use of robotics and automation is growing at a breathtaking speed,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Within six years, annual robot installations in factories around the world more than doubled. According to our latest statistics, installations grew strongly in 2021, although supply chain disruptions, as well as different local or regional headwinds, hampered production.”
In the United States, the automotive industry installed 9,782 industrial robots in 2021. The U.S. accounted for 64% of the North American installations in the automotive industry in 2021. However, this share used to exceed the 70% mark in previous years. Installations in the U.S. automotive industry declined by another 7% in 2021, while installations in the Mexican and Canadian automotive industries increased by 92% and 72% respectively.
The metal and machinery industry in the U.S. surged by 66% to 3,814 units in 2021, putting this industry in second place in terms of robot demand. The plastic and chemical products industry had 3,466 robots (+30%) newly installed in 2021.
The overall expectation for the robotics market in the United States and North America is positive, despite several global and regional challenges. Order intake is very high. Robot installations are expected to grow by +15% in 2022 as scarcities prevail over the conversion of orders into sales. Assuming that these scarcities will be reduced, the backlog of orders offers the potential for even higher growth rates in 2023.