Click image to enlarge

The North American robotics market has recorded its strongest year ever in 2012, according to new statistics from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 22,598 robots valued at $1.48 billion US were sold to companies in North America in 2012, beating the previous record of 19,337 robots sold in 2011. When sales by North American robot suppliers to companies outside North America are included, the totals are 25,557 robots valued at $1.66 billion. Compared to 2011, North American orders were up 17 per cent in units and 27 per cent in dollars.

“The Automotive industry has continued to be the strongest driver of the North American robotics market,” says Alex Shikany, director of market analysis for RIA. “Robots sold to automotive OEMs in North America jumped 47 per cent over a then record-setting 2011, while robots sold to automotive component suppliers increased 21 per cent,” he notes.

Sales were also up in metalworking industries (+12 per cent) and life sciences/pharmaceuticals (+3 per cent). In terms of applications, increases were seen in assembly (+40 per cent), spot welding (+37 per cent), arc welding (+24 per cent), coating & dispensing (+13 per cent), and material handling (+3 per cent).

The fourth quarter of 2012 was the strongest quarter ever recorded by RIA (the association began reporting data in 1984) in terms of units ordered, with 6,235 robots sold to North American companies. The fourth quarter was up nine per cent in units and 21 per cent in dollars over the same period in 2011.

“It is promising to see such positive growth in robotics despite the tumultuous manufacturing environment throughout 2012” says Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. “This growth is an indication that more North American companies are looking to automate in order to reduce costs and increase productivity, and that is a good sign for robotics.”

RIA estimates that some 225,000 robots are now at use in US factories, placing the US second only to Japan in robot use. “Many observers believe that only about 10 per cent of the US companies that could benefit from robots have installed any so far,” notes Burnstein, “and among those that have the most to gain from robots are small and medium sized companies.”

What will 2013 hold? Burnstein says RIA does not make robotics sales forecasts but he believes that if the economy remains strong we should be looking at another good year for the robotics industry.

“The increased demand for robotics was evident at this year’s Automate show in Chicago, which had record setting attendance levels. It is clear that people are excited about automation and the benefits it provides.

RIA

 

Montreal's Nova Bus wins deal for 600 transit buses

Nova Bus, a Montreal-based transit bus manufacturer has confirmed an order from the Chicago Transit Board to purchase up to 600 new, 40-foot clean-diesel buses.

Canadian firm focuses on additive manufacturing

Nigel Southway, Norman Holesh and David Slimowitz think they have a solution to help Canadian manufacturers become more globally competitive: additive manufacturing.

US GDP points to strong economic growth

Economic optimism is rising on the latest data coming out of the US market: the advance estimate of second quarter 2014 GDP growth in the US was 4.0 per cent, well above market expectations for a 3.0 per cent increase, according to an RBC Economics statement by economist Nathan Janzen.

Yaskawa, ESAB building robotic welding cells

The ESAB Group Inc. and robot systems manufacturer Yaskawa have partnered to jointly develop and market a line of pre-engineered robotic welding systems.

Canada to consider safeguard steel tariffs

The federal government says it plans to seek industry input before it decides whether or not to impose tariffs on steel entering Canada from offshore suppliers.

Additive SLM machine with 12 lasers

SLM Solutions’ new NXG XII 600 selective laser melting machine is equipped with 12 lasers and a cubed build envelope of 600x600x600 mm.

Ontario-made propellers for US Navy

An Ottawa, ON, manufacturer has developed a cost-effective machining process for complex impellers and propellers and just completed delivery of a series of its machined products for the US Navy. 

6 tips to consider when moving to automated plasma cutting

by Dirk Ott, vice president, Global Plasma Automation, Thermadyne Industries

If you cut the same shape repeatedly, have a high degree of rework, spend a lot of time grinding or need “weld ready” cut parts, it’s time to automate. Here are six tips to facilitate the transition:

EDC predicts good 2019 for Canadian exports

Export Development Canada (EDC) has released its fall Global Export Forecast, and expectations for 2019 show solid export growth.

Honda to invest $492 M in Ontario manufacturing plants

Honda Canada plans to invest $492 million in its Ontario manufacturing plants over the next three years to modernize is operations.

Koss Aerospace gets $1.9 M for new equipment

Koss Aerospace, Mississauga, ON, is getting $1.9 million in equipment financing from GE Capital Canada to support the purchase of manufacturing equipment for its facility.

Canada can handle changes in resource prices: Bank of Canada

The Canadian economy can handle challenges posed by the swings in resource prices, says Stephen S. Poloz, the Bank of Canada Governor.

CWBi Acorn, Sask. Polytechnic offer free welding video series

CWBi Acorn has partnered with Saskatchewan Polytechnic to produce online lessons that cover topics in welding applications and technology to keep students’ education on track during a tumultuous school year.

Translas partners with Gullco on distribution deal

Translas, a global manufacturer of on- torch fume extraction solutions, has announced a distribution partnership with Gullco International Ltd. Based in Newmarket, Ont., Gullco will be the global distributor of Translas’ newest fume extraction solutions, namely Translas 7XE Semi-Automatic Fume Extraction welding gun and the ClearO2 W-Series hi-vac units, designed and engineered for welding automation.

Winds of change

In Canada over the last ten years more wind energy capacity has been built than any other form of electricity generation, says Richard Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn