“North America represents the second largest operational stock of industrial robots in the world after China,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “The United States, Canada, and Mexico are key markets in the global growth of robotics automation, and the automotive sector is leading the way.”
In the United States, demand from car makers and manufacturers of components rose by 48% in 2022. Installations thus display the cyclical demand pattern well-known from this customer segment. After a few years of contraction, down from the peak level of 15,397 units in 2017 to 9,854 units in 2021, installations surged to 14,594 units in 2022.
Installation counts in Canada largely depend on investments of the automotive industry that accounts for 40% of robot installations. Sales to automotive declined by 36% with 1,258 units installed in 2022. This is below the pre-pandemic level of 1,897 units in 2019. The robot installations to manufacture parts and accessories for motor vehicles were significantly down by 45% with 995 units sold. Motor vehicles, engines and bodies on the other hand grew by 99% with 263 units sold.
Robot installations in Mexico are also determined by the automotive industry that accounted for 66% of the robot installations in 2022: Sales grew by 16% and reached 4,222 units in 2022 – the second best result since the peak level of 4,805 units in record year 2017.
Installation counts in other industries exceeding the 4,000-unit mark in North America are: electrical/electronics (+28%), metal and machinery (-9%), and plastic and chemical products (-4%). They each represent a 9% market share of industrial robot installations in 2022.
Automate – the largest robotics and industrial automation trade show in North America organized by the Association for Advancing Automation – will return in 2024 and then continue as an annual event. McCormick Place in Chicago will host next year’s event May 6-9, 2024, and in 2025 the show will be back in Detroit. Automate, which had historically been held every other year, saw unprecedented demand in back-to-back shows in 2022 and 2023.
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