The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), announced that 2019 North American robot unit orders are up 1.6% compared to 2018 results, with 29,988 robotic units ordered. However, order revenue for 2019 is down 1.3%, closing the year with $1.681 billion.
The largest driver of the growth was a 50.5% increase in orders from automotive OEMs and a 16.6% increase from the plastics and rubber industry. Orders to automotive component markets were down 6.6%, and all other non-automotive industries, including food and consumer goods, contracted by single digits in comparison to last year.
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 decrease of 10.4% in orders and 4.2% in revenue compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.
“While 2019 was a challenging year and the outlook for growth in 2020 is murky, we’re still seeing growing interest in automation technologies and solutions that will lead to continued future growth,” says Jeff Burnstein, A3 and RIA president.