For the third-straight quarter, robot sales in North America hit a record high, driven by a resurgence in sales to automotive companies and an ongoing need to manage increasing demand to automate logistics for e-commerce. According to the Association for Advancing Automation, of the 12,305 robots sold in Q2 2022, 59% of the orders came from the automotive industry with the remaining orders from non-automotive companies largely in the food & consumer goods industry, which saw a 13% increase in unit orders over the same period, April through June, in 2021.
“While automotive entities have long been the frontrunner in deploying robotics and automation, the last few years have seen food & consumer goods, life sciences and other industries grow at even higher rates,” said A3 President Jeff Burnstein. “While this quarter shows a marked shift back to historic norms with more robots going to automotive than to any other industry, the continued growth of robotics in food & consumer goods companies especially demonstrates the ongoing need to automate warehouse logistics for handling the exploding growth of e-commerce.”
The 12,305 units sold in Q2 2022 is 25% more than sold in the same period in 2021 and 6% more than sold in the first quarter of 2022, which saw 11,595 robots sold. The Q2 2022 value of $585 million is the second best quarter ever for revenue, down 9% from the previous record quarter—Q1 2022, which saw $646 million in revenue. When combined with 2022’s first quarter results, the previous record, the North American robotics market is off to its best start ever, with 23,903 robots ordered at a value of $1.249 billion. The market grew 26% and 29% for units ordered and revenue, respectively, over 2021.
A record fourth quarter in 2021 resulted in the strongest year ever for North American robot sales, with 39,708 units sold at a value of $2 billion, and 2022 is on pace for another record year. Alex Shikany, Vice President – Membership & Business Intelligence, A3, will discuss the end-of-year numbers in detail at the next A3 Business Forum in January.
“The larger trend towards robots being used to benefit more companies in North America continues,” Burnstein added. “This makes it critical to educate system integrators and users now about how to deploy robots while keeping workers safe. Our International Safety Robotics Conference (ISRC) will specifically address the most up-to-date safety standards, providing the best practices and use cases that will help all companies safely succeed with automation.”
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In addition to ISRC, scheduled for September 27-29 in Columbus, Ohio, A3 will hold the Artificial Intelligence & Smart Automation Conference, a one-day event to help those interested start their journey to unlock the power of AI, with discussions on data strategy, advances in AI robotics and machine vision, and AI-powered optimization and prediction. The conference will take place September 29, also in Columbus.
A3’s Business Forum, January 16-18, 2023, in Orlando, Florida, an annual networking event for robotics, vision & imaging, motion control & motors, and artificial intelligence industry professionals, will be followed by The Automate Show (May 22-25, 2023, in Detroit), the largest and most inspiring showcase of automation in North America.