Robot Orders Post Strong Gains in First Quarter of 2010

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 28 September 2010



(2010), "Robot Orders Post Strong Gains in First Quarter of 2010", Assembly Automation, Vol. 30 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Robot Orders Post Strong Gains in First Quarter of 2010

Article Type: News From: Assembly Automation, Volume 30, Issue 4

North American based robotics manufacturers saw new orders jump 16 percent in units and 30 percent in dollars in the first quarter of 2010 when compared with the same quarter in 2009, said the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 3,069 robots valued at $208.1 million were ordered by North American manufacturing companies in the first quarter of 2010. In addition to exceeding the first quarter 2009 totals, the quarter was also 35 percent better in units and 45 percent ahead in dollars over the last quarter of 2009.

Nearly every major user industry increased its purchases in the opening quarter of 2010. Especially strong gains were seen in robot sales to the semiconductor/electronics/photonics industries as well as food and consumer goods.

Automotive OEMs and component suppliers, traditionally the largest purchasers of robots in North America, also increased their orders in the first quarter of 2010. “The turnarounds we’re seeing in the Detroit 3 are helping create more business for the robotics industry,” said Tammy Mulcahy of ABB, Chair of RIA’s Statistics Committee. “However, it’s likely to be some time before we reach the volumes we saw in the 2005-2007 period.”

Material handling remains the largest application area for new robot orders, accounting for some 60 percent of the units sold in North America in the January through March period. According to Burnstein, this is a key reason why RIA decided to collocate its major trade show, Automate 2011 with ProMat, the leading event for the materials handling and logistics industry. The two events will be side by side at McCormick Place in Chicago, March 21-24, 2011.

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