Q4 Robot Sales Surge, as Non-Automotive Robot Orders Exceed Those for AutomotiveJanuary 28, 2021
Industry statistics released today by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), Ann Arbor, MI, reveal that for the first time ever, yearly orders of robots from non-automotive sectors surpassed those from the automotive sector. The report shows that year-over-year (YOY) sales of robotic units in North America increased 3.5 percent in 2020 from 2019, driven by a strong Q4--the second-best quarter ever for North American robotic sales with a 63.6 percent increase over Q4 2019. Automotive-sector robot orders grew by 39 percent YOY.
North American companies ordered 31,044 robotic units in 2020, valued at $1.572 billion. In Q4, companies ordered 9972 units valued at $479 million.
“The surge in robot orders, despite the pandemic, demonstrates the growing interest in robotic and automation solutions,” says Jeff Burnstein, A3 president.
“In 2020, we saw two trends in particular that propelled growth in non-automotive orders for robotics technology,” adds John Bubnikovich, chief regional officer--North America, Kuka Robotics. “First, the automation-competence level in general industry has grown, and that matured into greater demand for the technology. Second, consumer behavior shifted significantly, and the expectations created by this shift were tough to satisfy without automation.”