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Non-automotive robot orders rise in 2006, but overall sales fall in N. America (February 26, 2007)

A record year for North American orders from non-automotive users in 2006 was not enough to offset a steep decline ...


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February 26, 2007 by Canadian Plastics

A record year for North American orders from non-automotive users in 2006 was not enough to offset a steep decline in robot sales to automotive companies, according to new statistics from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).
A total of 12,765 robots, valued at U.S. $904.2 million, were sold to North American companies in 2006, which represents a decline of 30 per cent in units and 22 per cent in revenue from 2005.
Non-automotive orders accounted for 44 per cent of total orders in 2006, up from 30 per cent in 2005.
As expected, the automotive companies and their suppliers slowed their robotics purchases in 2006, Donald A. Vincent, executive vice president of the RIA, said. However, non-automotive orders reached the highest mark since weve been tracking the data[due to] growth in food and consumer goods, life sciences/pharmaceuticals/biomedical, and plastics and rubber.
The RIA estimated that approximately 166,000 robots are now at use in U.S. factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in overall use.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., the RIA represents more than 260 North American companies, including leading robot manufacturers, component suppliers, systems integrators and end users.