The benefits of robotic automation are being experienced bymore and more industries as the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reports a record setting $369.5 million worth of robot orders shipped by North American robotics manufacturers the first quarter of this year. This represents 5,736 units, a 24.6% increase in the number of units sold and 23.3% increase in dollars over the first quarter of 2012.
The automotive industry continues to be a solid user of robotic automation. The RIA reports that the largest unit growth has been seen in arc welding applications at 46.2% and material handling applications at 25.1%. Perhaps the most significant number is the 15% rate of growth seen in non-automotive areas.
Robotic automation is taking a strong hold in a variety ofareas including
* food & consumer goods
* semiconductor & electronics
* life sciences & pharmaceuticals
* plastics & rubber
Each of these industries experienced double digit growth this year.
According to RIA statistics, there are about 228,000 robots being used at US factories, making the United States second in terms of robot use, ranking just below Japan. The association reports that small and medium sized companies benefit the most from robotic automation, and observers believe that only 10% of the companies that could benefit from robots are using them.