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North American Robotics Shipments Up, Orders Down for First Nine Months of 2013

POSTED 10/29/2013

Arbor, Michigan – Robotic Industries Association (RIA) today announced that for the first nine months of the year, North American robotics orders have declined while robotics shipments have soared, according to their new statistics report released this week.

Shipments to North American customers through September totaled 17,645 robots valued at $1.1 billion, breaking the previous first nine month records set in 2012 by 14.6% in units and 9.0% in dollars.

A total of 15,731 robots valued at $978.5 million were ordered from North American companies in the first nine months of 2013, a decrease of 3.9% in units and 10.9% in dollars from the same period in 2012.

Sales activity continued to be especially strong in non-automotive industries such as Life Sciences, Semiconductors, and Food & Consumer Goods, all of which posted double digit growth through September. The decrease in orders can largely be attributed to the decrease in sales to the highly cyclical automotive industry. Robot orders from automotive OEMs are down 22.0% year to date, while sales to component suppliers have remained flat.

“While the decrease in orders to the automotive segment has had a large impact on the new order numbers, we are still encouraged by the growth in non-automotive industries,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. “Many non-automotive applications in such areas as medical and space robotics will be explored at the upcoming Robotics Industry Forum in Orlando, January 22-24, 2014. The event is co-located with the AIA and Motion Control Association (MCA) Business Conferences. The robotics market in North America is branching out, and it’s an exciting time for our industry.”

RIA estimates that approximately 232,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in robot use. “Many observers believe that only about 10% of the U.S. companies that could benefit from robots have installed any so far,” Burnstein said. “A very large segment of small and medium sized companies who may have the most to gain are just now beginning to seriously investigate robotics.”

Founded in 1974, RIA represents 317 companies, including leading robot manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms. RIA’s quarterly statistics report is based on data supplied by member companies representing an estimated 90% of the North American market.

About Robotic Industries Association (RIA)

Founded in 1974, RIA now represents 317 robot manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end user, consulting firms, research groups, and educational institutions. RIA is best known for its biennial Automate Show & Conference (next event slated for March 23-26, 2015 in Chicago); the ANSI/RIA National Robot Safety Standard and annual National Robot Safety Conference, and the annual Robotics Industry Forum (January 22-24, 2014, Orlando). The association also provides quarterly robotics statistics and has a content-rich Robotics Online website attracting hundreds of thousands of visits a year from throughout the world. For more details on RIA, visit www.robotics.org or call 734/994-6088.

Bob Doyle
Director of Communications
(734) 994-6088