2014 was a record-setting year for industrial robots
Robot orders: 25,425 robots valued at $1.6 billion for North American customers in 2014 set new record.
Robot shipments also set new records, with 25,425 robots valued at $1.5 billion being shipped to North American customers in 2014. Shipments grew 13 percent in units and six percent in dollars over the previous records set in 2013.
- Automotive industry was the primary driver of growth in 2014. Orders increased 45 percent (Y/Y).
- Non-automotive industries grew at seven percent over total for 2013.
- Big gains in non-automotive industries for 2014 in terms of order growth were plastics and rubber (25 percent), semiconductor and electronics (21 percent), and metals (16 percent).
Fastest growing applications:
- Arc welding (+58 percent)
- Spot welding (+57 percent)
- Assembly (+16 percent)
- Material handling (+11 percent)
Why auto industry continues strong robot purchases:
- Meeting production demands. Sales boom year for vehicles: The full year vehicle sales finished up 5.9 percent from 2013 at 16.52 million vehicles, according to Autodata. 2014 was the best year since 2006 and a fifth consecutive year of growth.
- Continued boom in vehicles: Analysts see sales momentum continuing into 2015.
- Low gas prices.
- According to AUTOMATION & ROBOTICS IN AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING 2014-2024: Market Prospects for Industrial Robots, Processes & Technologies in Vehicle Production, industrial robot orders driven by:
- Megatrends, like stricter emission requirements, new safety regulations and rising consumer trends, require modernization of the automotive manufacturing process to meet the rising demand.
- Flexible automation and robotics offer manufacturers capability to achieve shorter time-to-market and reduce product life-cycle costs, including energy consumption, while ensuring quality, reliability and economic efficiency.
See related blog: TOP 5 ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Who manufactured what?
According to the International Federation of Robotics, more than half of the robots manufactured in 2013 were made in Japan.