ANN ARBOR, Mich.: North American robotics companies saw new orders robots decline 36% in units and 47% in dollars through the first half of 2009, according to an industry market outlook.
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reports the second quarter alone saw declines of 43% in units and 51% in dollars over the same period in 2008. The quarter was also down 29% in units and 26% in dollars from the first quarter of 2009.
Jeff Burnstein, the North American trade group’s president said weakness in the automotive industry was a major factor in the decline.
“Robotics companies across the globe are experiencing similar declines as they grapple with the impacts of the economic recession that has put the brakes on capital equipment expenditures in many industries, not just automotive,” said Burnstein.
However, orders from the life sciences, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries there up 34% increase and there was a 7% increase in orders from the food and consumer goods sector, said Tammy Mulcahy of ABB Robotics, chair of RIA’s Statistics Committee.
“The reality is that we’re in the midst of a sharp decline that will likely last into 2010. However, recent economic data indicates that the worst of the recession may be behind us, which would be welcome news for everyone in our industry,” said Mulcahy.
RIA represents more than 250 North American robot manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms.