Robots Arrive in Cars
North American robot unit orders increased 1.6% in 2019 compared to 2018 with 29,988 robotic units ordered, according to the Robotic Industries Association. The largest driver of the growth was a 50.5% increase in orders from automotive original equipment manufacturers and a 16.6% increase from the plastics and rubber industry.
Orders to automotive component markets were down 6.6%, and all other nonautomotive industries, including food and consumer goods, life sciences, metals, and semiconductor/electronics, contracted by single digits compared to 2018.
The fourth quarter of 2019 was the weakest quarter of the year—6,094 robotic units were ordered, valued at $374 million. This represented a cut of 10.4% in orders and 4.2% in revenue compared to Q4 2018.