For North American robotics firms it was the best first-quarter since 2007, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). RIA said 4021 robots valued at $263.5 million were ordered by North American manufacturing companies through March, up 31% in units and 27% in dollars over the first quarter o 2010.
“We’re very encouraged by the strong start to 2011 as a follow-up to the unit growth of 39% in 2010,” said RIA President Jeff Burnstein. “However, we are a bit cautious about the next few quarters due to interruptions in the supply chain caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.”
Much of the new order growth in the first quarter came from automotive, where unit growth jumped 64%. Non-automotive orders increased 3% overall, the metals sector jumped 73%, and life sciences/pharmaceutical/biomedical gained 61%.
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