North America represents the second largest operational stock of industrial robots in the world after China. PHOTO courtesy Kuka.
The North American robotics market is showing strong growth with total installations in manufacturing rising by 12% to reached 41,624 units in 2022, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
The number one adopter on the continent is the automotive industry: companies based in the US, Canada and Mexico installed 20,391 industrial robots – up 30% compared to 2021.
“North America represents the second largest operational stock of industrial robots in the world after China,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “The United States, Canada, and Mexico are key markets in the global growth of robotics automation, and the automotive sector is leading the way.”
Comparing demand from automotive by country
Despite the strong upward trend in robotic installations in the North American automotive industry overall, Canada is the one country out of the three that is bucking the trend—at least for last year.
Installation counts in Canada largely depend on investments of the automotive industry that accounts for 40% of robot installations. Sales to automotive declined by 36% with 1,258 units installed in 2022. This is below the pre-pandemic level of 1,897 units in 2019. The robot installations to manufacture parts and accessories for motor vehicles were significantly down by 45% with 995 units sold. Motor vehicles, engines and bodies on the other hand grew by 99% with 263 units sold.
In the United States, demand from car makers and manufacturers of components rose by 48% in 2022. Installations thus display the cyclical demand pattern well-known from this customer segment. After a few years of contraction, down from the peak level of 15,397 units in 2017 to 9,854 units in 2021, installations surged to 14,594 units in 2022.
Robot installations in Mexico are also determined by the automotive industry that accounted for 66% of the robot installations in 2022: Sales grew by 16% and reached 4,222 units in 2022 – the second best result since the peak level of 4,805 units in record year 2017.
Installation counts in other industries exceeding the 4,000-unit mark in North America are: electrical/electronics (+28%), metal and machinery (-9%), and plastic and chemical products (-4%). They each represent a 9% market share of industrial robot installations in 2022.
The International Federation of Robotics is an industry group representing the global robotics industry.