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North American half-year robot sales top $1bn for the first time

18 August, 2017

The first half of 2017 was the best-ever for the North American robotics market, with new records set for orders, revenues and units shipped, according to Association for Advancing Automation (A3). It also reports a 14% rise in orders for motion control and motor products, and the best-ever first-half performance by the machine vision sector.

In the first six month of 2017, 19,331 robots, valued at just over $1bn, were sold in North America, representing a 33% growth of in the number sold and a 26% growth in revenues over the same period in 2016. Automotive-related orders grew by 39% in terms of units sold and 37% in revenues, while non-automotive orders grew by 21% in units and 10% in revenues compared to the first half of 2016.

Orders for motion control and motor products in North America totalled $1.622bn in the first half of 2017 – a 14% increase on the first six months of 2016. Revenues totalled $1.757bn – a 10% increase. The fastest-growing categories, in terms of shipments, were motion controllers (up by 21% to $97m), sensors and feedback devices (up 20% to $76m), actuators and mechanical systems (up 17% to $318m), and AC drives (up 17% to $199m).

The North American machine vision market also posted its best-ever first-half performance, with sales totalling $1.241bn ­– an 11% increase on the same period in 2016. Machine vision component sales rose by 11% to $177m, while system sales climbed by 10% to $1.058bn. Smart camera sales grew by 16% to $183m, lighting systems by 20% to $35m, and optical components by 16% to $20m.

A3 consists of three sister associations: the Robotic Industries Association (RIA); the Advancing Vision + Imaging Association (AIA); and the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA). At the end of July, A3 hit a record combined membership of 1,064.

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