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Robot orders increase in first quarter of 2007

North American robotics companies posted gains of 24 per cent in new orders for the first quarter of 2007, accordin...


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July 3, 2007 by Canadian Plastics

North American robotics companies posted gains of 24 per cent in new orders for the first quarter of 2007, according to new numbers released by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

According to RIA, a total of 4,603 robots valued at US$274.5 million were sold to North American manufacturing firms through March. The totals are 5,027 robots valued at US$293.9 million when sales to companies outside North America are included — a gain of 26 per cent in units and three per cent in revenue.

“It’s encouraging to see new orders grow again,” said RIA executive vice president Donald Vincent. “This is the highest number of robots we’ve seen ordered in a quarter since midway through 2005.”

Orders placed by automotive manufacturing companies were one of the key drivers for growth, jumping 45 per cent in the first quarter compared to the previous year. By contrast, non-automotive orders fell nine per cent.

The RIA also saw order growth in the plastic and rubber sector, where orders were up by nine per cent.

“While [plastics and rubber] are relatively small market segments for robot suppliers, we’re encouraged to see them growing and look forward to future increases as robots gain more traction in these industries,” said Vincent.

From an applications standpoint, the association saw order growth for robots that performed spot welding, arc welding, coating/dispensing, and material handling applications.

For more details about RIA and the robotics industry, visit the association’s website.