It’s Not Just The Auto Industry That’s Automating

The automotive industry has relied on industrial robots for nearly half a century. Developments in robotics from institutions like Stanford and MIT brought a U.S. automotive automation boom in the 1970s. Auto manufacturers have been using basic automation for even longer, though: ever since Fordism became a thing. Today, the auto industry still makes up a bulk share of the market for industrial robots, but many other industries are reaping the benefits of automation.

Which industries are installing industrial robots?

North American auto manufacturers are still installing more robots than anyone else. The Robotic Industries Association released a report examining which industries bought the most industrial robots in 2018, and 53% of all units shipped in 2018 went to the auto industry.

The number of units shipped to auto manufacturers decreased year-over-year, however. Auto industry companies ordered 19,718 units in 2018 and 21,732 in 2017, a 12% decrease. Furthermore the auto industry’s 53% of total robot shipments for the year is the lowest it’s been since 2010.

Non-automotive sectors saw a 41% increase in robot shipments for 2018. Which industries experienced the most growth?

  • Food and consumer goods increased orders 48%
  • Plastics and rubber increased orders 37%
  • Life sciences increased orders 31%
  • Electronics increased orders 22%

These figures don’t indicate the death of automation in the auto industry. They don’t herald a changing of the guard either; auto companies still account for a majority of new industrial robot orders. This report does, however, show us that automation capabilities are improving, and automation can benefit a wide range of industries. We can expect to see more robots in more sectors in the future.

Make new robots, but keep the old

Indramat servos can be found in many different industries: from textiles, to printing, to handling and mounting systems, to food and beverage processing, and more. Maybe you plan on installing new industrial robots, but you still have plans to use your Indramat motion control system. Make sure that you current machinery still runs like it should.

A little TLC can greatly extend the lifetime of your Indramat servos. Call 479-422-0390 for preventive inspection, maintenance, repair, troubleshooting, or retrofitting for Indramat systems.