Nonautomotive Robot Orders Rove Ahead
Supply chain disruptions and workforce challenges are causing industries to accelerate their automation strategies (see chart). For example, yearly robot orders from nonautomotive sectors surpassed automotive robot orders for the first time, with sales of robotic units in North America increasing 3.5% in 2020 from 2019, according to the Robotic Industries Association.
Growth was driven by a strong fourth quarter—the second-best quarter ever for North American robotic sales—with a 63.6% increase from the same period in 2019. North American companies ordered 31,044 robotic units, valued at $1.5 billion, in 2020, the report says.