Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Growth in electric vehicle manufacturing drives industrial robot sales to record highs in North America

Data released by the Association for Advancing Automation show that 44,196 robots were ordered in 2022, up 11 percent over 2021. The record results are credited to a resurgence in sales to automotive companies looking to boost electric vehicle production.

Driven by the resurgence in robot orders from automotive companies, the North American robotics market set all-time records in both robots sold and value in 2022.

According to the report from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), North American companies ordered 44,196 robots valued at $2.38 billion last year, representing increases of 11 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over 2021, the previous record.

More than 50 percent of sales came from the automotive industry, which ordered 23,807 robots, up from 16,752 in 2021.

While orders from non-automotive industries slowed from the previous three years, unique applications continued to emerge in such industries as food services, construction and agriculture, such as robots cooking and serving food, dry walling, and even harvesting and picking.

Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, says: “Although labor shortage and supply chain issues impact nearly all industries in North America, automakers’ public commitment to move to electric vehicles (EVs) has set in motion a resurgence of robot orders in this market.

“Automotive OEMs and components suppliers alike recognize that investing in robots is instrumental to the emergence of EVs as well as to manufacturing all vehicles as they compete to meet customer demand.”

In the first nine months of 2022, North American companies purchased 35,804 robots, up 24 percent over the same period in 2021. While fourth-quarter orders slowed, with companies ordering only 8,392 robots, total numbers for the year from all industries resulted in the 11 percent record over 2021.

Burnstein says: “While the numbers of robots sold to non-automotive companies isn’t as staggering as it’s been over the last couple of years, it’s clear that companies in every industry see automation as necessary for success.

“We look forward to seeing more unique and increasingly easy-to-use robots that all industries can benefit from at Automate 2023 in Detroit this May.”

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