The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) shared new industry stats May 6 showing that industrial robot orders surged during 2021’s first quarter.
Q1 North American robot orders increased 20% year-over-year — the best start to any year since A3 began tracking orders in 2017.
It follows an even bigger year-to-year jump in Q4 2020, which was up 64% from Q4 2019.
The largest increases were by companies in metals (+86%), life sciences/pharma/biomed (+72%), food & consumer groups (+32%), and other non-automotive industries (+12%).
A3 said North American firms bought 9,098 industrial robot units in Q1 with a total value of $466 million.
Non-automotive companies purchased 28% more robots in Q1 year-over-year, while automotive OEMs and component suppliers’ orders were up 12%.
A3: “While robotic purchases from automotive manufacturers can be highly cyclical, the increase from non-automotive companies, especially in metals, life sciences, and food and consumer goods, shows a promising outlook for the growth of the robotics and automation industry overall.”