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Report: North American Robotics Industry Posts Best Quarter Ever
Jul 27, 2012
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North American robotics companies sold more industrial robots in the second quarter of 2012 than any previous quarter in history, according to statistics released by Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

5,556 robots worth $403.1 million sold to North American companies in 2Q 2012, up 14% in units and 28% in dollars over 2Q 2011.

10,652 robots, valued at $747 million, were ordered in the first half of 2012, an increase of 20% in units and 29% in value over the first half of 2011.

"Obviously, we're thrilled about the great results so far this year," said Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. "The strong sales reflect increased demand for robotics in industries such as automotive, plastics and rubber, and metals. However, as the economy slows, it's not clear that these numbers will remain as strong heading forward."

Order increases in the first-half 2012:
* spot welding robots, used mostly in automotive, were up 68%
* coating & dispensing robots were up 42%
* arc welding robots were up 20%
* assembly robots were up 19%
* material removal robots, a smaller application area, rose 364%

Automotive related orders accounted for 65% of units and 64% of dollars in the first half of 2012. This represents sharp gains of 44% in units and 56% in dollars over the opening half of 2011.

"We were disappointed to see non-automotive related orders fall eight percent in units and one percent in dollars in the first half of the year, with even sharper declines in the second quarter alone," Burnstein explained.

RIA estimates 220,000 robots are now used in the United States, making it second only to Japan in robot use.

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