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Robots are Hot in North America 

 February 14, 2020

By  Mike Oitzman

​February 13, 2019

The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), today announced 2019 North American robot unit orders are up 1.6 percent compared to 2018 results, with 29,988 robotic units ordered. Order revenue for 2019 is down 1.3 percent, closing the year with $1.681 billion.

​The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), today announced 2019 North American robot unit orders are up 1.6 percent compared to 2018 results, with 29,988 robotic units ordered. Order revenue for 2019 is down 1.3 percent, closing the year with $1.681 billion.

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The RIA releases ​robot orders on an annual basis. The data from 2019 shows a modest 1.6 percent increase over 2108. This is good news for robotic solution providers.

This is also a reflection of the positive economy in North America in 2018. Automotive OEMs accounted for the largest chuck of growth at 50.5 percent. ​Orders to automotive component markets were down 6.6 percent

The remaining non-automotive industries, including food & consumer goods, life sciences, metals, and semiconductor/electronics, contracted by single digits in comparison to last year.

Overall the fourth quarter of 2019 was the weakest quarter of the year according the press release. In all, 6,094 robotic units were ordered, valued at $374 million. This represented a decrease of 10.4 percent in orders and 4.2 percent in revenue compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.

​“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,” said Jeff Burnstein, A3 & RIA president.

When asked specifically about mobile robot unit orders, the RIA declined to comment due to the incomplete data reported by the various AMR manufacturers. They are unable to reach a conclusive result on the mobile robot market based on reported data.

However, anecdotally, the Mobile Robot Guide is hearing nothing but positive comments about unit sales in 2019 from robot companies executives that we've recently interviewed. Several companies, including Locus Robotics, inVia Robotics, 6 River Systems and others had record years, largely due to the impact of ecommerce growth in the warehouse and logistics markets.

About the author 

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman brings 25 years of product management and product marketing experience to the role of publisher and editor for Mobile Robot Guide. Mike is a respected expert in the mobile robot market and is a frequent panel leader and speaker at events and tradeshows.

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