August 3, 2010
by PLANT STAFF
Material handling continues to be the largest application area for robots.
ANN ARBOR, Mich: The biggest increases in robotics North American sales in the first half of 2010 came from non-automotive companies, according to the Robotics Industries Association (RIA).
New figures released by Ann Arbor, the Mich.-based industry trade group, show orders jumping 40% during the first half of the year for a total of 6,316 robots. They’re valued at $411.4 million, up 48% over the same period in 2009. When orders to companies outside of North America are included, RIA reports the increases are even larger, up 54% in units and 62% in dollars.
Non-automotive companies made the most buys, with unit sales increasing 51 per cent, said Jeffrey Burnstein, RIA’s president. He noted a continuous expansion into a wide-range of industries such as semiconductor, electronics and photonics, food and beverage, plastics and rubber, consumer goods, and life sciences.
“Each of these market segments posted substantial gains in the first half of 2010, while automotive orders also grew 30 per cent,” said Burnstein.
Leading applications include arc welding with a 52% gain in units, followed by material handling, up 51 per cent.