North American based robotics companies reported strong growth in 2010, posting the best year since 2007, according to statistics released by Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.
North American robot suppliers reported orders of 13,174 robots valued at $845.6 million from North American based companies, increases of 39% in units and 49% in dollars. When orders from customers outside North America are included, the totals are 15,860 robots valued at $993.2 million, gains of 52% in units and 58% in dollars.
The automotive industry, including OEMs and their suppliers, accounted for 51% of the North American orders in 2010. Orders to this sector, the largest user in North America, were up 34% in units.
Non-automotive orders jumped 46%, fueled by large gains in orders from metalworking (+90%), semiconductor/electronics/photonics (+66%), plastics & rubber (+57%), food & consumer goods (+47%), and life sciences/pharmaceuticals/biomedical/medical devices (+26%).
RIA estimates that some 200,000 industrial robots are now used in the United States, placing the United States second only to Japan in overall robot use. More than one million industrial robots are used worldwide.