North American-based robotics companies are having one of their best years ever, with orders up 41% through September 2011, according to the latest report from the Robotics Industries Assn (RIA). "In the first nine months of the year, the industry has received orders for more robots than in all of 2010, which was also a very good year," said Jeff Burnstein, RIA president.
A total of 13,616 robots valued at $848.5 million were ordered in the first nine months by companies in North America. When orders to companies outside North America are included, the totals rise to 15,683 robots with a value of $968 million.
Automotive OEMs and components suppliers are the biggest customers, accounting for 53% of the new orders. Sales to these segments, which are traditionally the largest for the robotics industry, rose 56% through September. "Everyone from Tier suppliers to the automotive OEMs have really accelerated their purchases this year, with orders jumping 84%," Burnstein noted.