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RIA: North American robot orders up 1.6% in 2019


February 13, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Robots welding in a car factoryPhoto: PJ66431470/Getty Images

Robot unit orders in North America are up 1.6 per cent for 2019 over the year prior, according to a new report by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

The RIA, part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), says that 29,988 robotic units have been ordered, but order revenue for 2019 is down 1.3 per cent, closing the year with $1.681 billion.

“While 2019 was a challenging year, and the outlook for growth in 2020 is murky, we’re still seeing growing interest in automation technologies and solutions that will lead to continued future growth,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of the RIA and A3, in a statement.

The largest driver of the growth was a 50.5 per cent increase in orders from automotive OEMs and a 16.6 per cent increase from the plastics and rubber industry.

Orders to automotive component markets were down 6.6 per cent, and all other non-automotive industries, including food and consumer goods, life sciences, metals, and semiconductor/electronics, contracted by single digits in comparison to last year.

The fourth quarter of 2019 was the weakest quarter of the year. A total of 6,094 robotic units were ordered, valued at $374 million. This represented a decrease of 10.4 per cent in orders and 4.2 per cent in revenue compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.

A3 is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA) and A3 Mexico. Combined, these organizations represent over 1,275 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms.