Robotics Record

First half of 2017 is benchmark year for automation

A ‘Robopocalypse’ is happening by the numbers…even if it may be an overblown theory in real life.

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) announced the results of its research on robotics and automation trends, sales, and growth Thursday, showing record tallies in the areas of robotics, machine vision, motion control and motor technology for the first half of 2017.

The North American robotics market had its best opening half ever to begin 2017, setting new records in the association’s four chief statistical categories (order units, order revenue, shipment units, and shipment revenue). In total, 19,331 robots valued at approximately $1.031 billion were sold in North America during the first half of 2017, the highest in both of those categories ever recorded by A3 to begin a year.

Breaking down the six-month time block: orders for motion control and motor products amounted to $1.622 billion, up 14% over the first six months of 2016. Shipments totaled $1.757 billion, up 10% over the first half of 2016.

The fastest growing categories in terms of shipments were motion controllers (21% to $97 million), sensors & feedback devices (20% to $76 million), actuators & mechanical systems (17% to $318 million), and AC drives (17% to $199 million).

“Year over year, our membership has been on a steady growth trajectory, the result of more companies understanding, and embracing, the direct impact automation can have on their bottom line,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. “We look forward to the continued advancement of our industry and helping companies of all sizes access the connections, information, and training they need to succeed with automation.”

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