How industrial robot sales improved in Q1 2019


North America has benefitted largely from the use of robots since it found its way into the country. The benefits have helped sustained the use of robots by North American industries. This has led to its exploit in the workplace for more efficient and effective production of goods and services.

Little wonder, the breakthrough of robots in the Northern American Industrial market has experienced a significant boost of 7.2% in the first half of 2019 alone. According to statistics by Robotic Industries Association, RIA, a total of 16,488 robots, worth $869 million was bought by North American Companies within the first six months of the current year.

However, the automotive OEMs took the front row in the number of units ordered in the market as it witnessed a total of 83% demand, the highest amongst other industries. While other robotic industries, including semiconductor/electronics, Life Sciences, and Food/Consumer goods saw an increase in demand of 12%, 8%, and 3% respectively. Plastic & Rubber, Metals, and other industries were also captured in the demand growth with an increase of 8%, 11%, and 4% respectively.

In his remark, President Jeff Burnstein, Association for Advancing Automation hailed the use of robots in the country as he stressed that they have not only helped to increase competition amongst companies in the United States but have aided the generation of new jobs for more employments. He pointed out that the dispensation of robots and its growth has never been experienced in the history of the country like its current state with over 180,000 robots already being imported into the country since 2010.

A breakdown of the purchase of robots shows that about $446 million was spent by American companies to buy 8,572 robots, a 19.2% growth in the orders made as well as a 0.6% increase in dollars in the second quarter of 2019. However, industrial robots in the first quarter of 2018 boasted of a higher unit of order than in 2019. North American companies spent a whopping $423 million to buy 7,876 robots from January to March of 2019 but it is 3.5% short of what was expended in the previous year.

The drop experienced this year has been greeted with reactions by concerned United States citizens as they expected higher units of imports than the previous year owing to the awareness it has gained over the years. A section of United States citizens has pointed to the tension between the country and China for the drop in the growth of sales of robots in the country. Others also claim that trade barriers as a result of some government policies and positions towards China ensured the dip in orders of robots.

Alex Shikany, the Vice President of Membership and Business Intelligence for the Association of Advancing Automation, who reacted to the statistics made available, in his chat with The Robot Report, said that a conclusion cannot be reached because the data made available are yet to be established.

Howbeit, it is made clear by the Robotic Industries Association that the installation of robots in North America in the year 2018 was recorded as a landmark breakthrough in the industry. This is because a total of 35,880 units of robots were shipped into North America in 2018, 7% higher than the units shipped into the country in the previous year. Overall, the United States has so far imported 28,476 robots which represent an increase in demand of 15%. What even more notable, robotics production returns from Europe and Asia to the USA, as many young robotic start-ups were born here.