According to a recent report from the Robotic Industries Association industrial robot sales reached an all-time high in 2016. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who works with industrial robots. Hearing that the world uses more industrial robots than ever before is almost like hearing that the sun rose again this morning. That is to say that it was expected. The report is more of a confirmation rather than a surprising tidbit of information. That’s not to say that the report is not valuable, however. You may know that the sun will rise, but what is that sunrise going to look like? Will it slowly bask the earth in a soft orange glow? Will the sky come alive with purples, blues, and reds? Or will a thick blanket of clouds block out the sun? The RIA report on industrial robot orders and shipments paints the picture for global industrial robot sales.
North American industrial robot sales in 2016
North American industrial robot orders and shipments broke an all-time record last year. A total of 34,606 industrial robots were ordered in 2016, which is a 10% increase over the previous year. These robots are valued around $1.9 billion.
There was also a 10% increase in the number of robots shipped in North America with 30,875 robots worth $1.8 billion being shipped.
As usual, the automotive industry made up a big chunk of the demand for industrial robots. Orders for industrial robots increased 17% over 2015 in the automotive industry, and shipments increased 25%.
Assembly and food & consumer goods industries also saw a large increase in demand for robots, with assembly applications orders increasing 61% and food $consumer goods orders increasing 32%.
Industrial robot sales forecast
A strong fourth quarter suggests an upward trajectory in industrial robot sales. 10,621 robots were ordered in Q4 of 2016, which accounts for nearly a third of all units sold last year.
The Internet of Things is projected to reach $65 billion by 2020, and Industry 4.0 relies heavily on IoT technologies. Automation is key to economic growth, and it makes sense, with increasingly sophisticated robotic technologies, that the number of industrial robots sold continues to grow.
It’s clear that automation is not only currently integral industry, but industrial robots will continue to grow in importance in industry and manufacturing. You may soon contribute to these sales numbers when you decide to replace your current machines. You may still have a few good years left on your current industrial robots, however. Let us service your Indramat motion control system to help keep you competitive. Call us today for Indramat repair, support, maintenance, or service.