The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), announced that North American robot unit orders are up 5.2% through the third quarter, compared to 2018 results. So far this year, North American companies have ordered 23,894 robotic units, valued at $1.3 billion.
Looking at third-quarter results only, North American companies ordered 7,446 robots, valued at $438 million. Both units ordered and revenue are up 1% in the quarter compared to 2018.
The largest driver of the year-to-date growth in units ordered was an increase in orders from automotive OEMs at 47%, followed by plastics and rubber at 15%, and food and consumer goods at 4%.
“We continue to see improvement in the robotics market,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of A3 and RIA. “At this time last year, we saw a dip in orders of around 15%, so it’s encouraging to see a recovery through the third quarter. We hope to end the year strong and see growth in 2020 as well.”
Burnstein says he sees strong interest in robotics from companies that have never invested in robots before. In addition, orders from non-automotive customers remain near record numbers, a healthy sign for the long-term growth of the robotics industry.