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Robot Sales Up 33% in North America In First Nine Months of 2007

Robotic Industries Association

Ann Arbor, MI – North American based robotics suppliers posted gains of 33% in new orders to North American manufacturing companies in the first nine months of 2007, according to new statistics from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 12,763 robots valued at $844.5 million were ordered by North American manufacturing companies through September, an increase of 33% in units and 21% in revenue over the same period in 2006.   When orders to companies outside North America are included, total sales for North American based robotics companies totaled 13,866 robots valued at $905.6 million, a jump of 34% in units and 22% in revenue.

Sales to automotive manufacturing companies and their suppliers are fueling the growth in 2007, said Åke Lindqvist of ABB Inc., Chairman of RIA’s Statistics Committee.  He noted that automotive-related sales are up 58% in units and 15% in revenue compared to the first nine months of 2006.

‘‘While the cyclical purchases of the automotive industry are responsible for the majority of the gains this year, we are heartened to see that sales to non-automotive industries also posted gains of two percent in units and 31% in revenue through September,’‘ Lindqvist added.

Among the best performing non-automotive markets this year are life sciences/pharmaceutical/ biomedical/medical devices (up 20%), food & consumer goods (up 15%) and plastics and rubber (up eight percent).

Looking forward, enormous growth opportunities exist for robots in non-automotive industries, said Jeff Burnstein, Executive Vice President of RIA.

‘‘At our recent Robotics Industry Forum, we had presentations on the potential market for robots in the manufacture of fuel cells, drug discovery, and various service sectors, including unmanned vehicles.  We think the future for the industry is very bright as more companies begin to see the potential for robotics and related automation technologies in their operations,’‘ Burnstein explained.

RIA estimates that some 175,000 robots are now at work in U.S. factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in overall robot use.  Approximately one million robots are installed worldwide.

Founded in 1974, RIA represents more than 270 North American companies including leading robot manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups, and consulting firms.  RIA’s quarterly statistics report is based on data supplied by member companies representing an estimated 90% of the North American market.

For more information about RIA and the robotics industry, contact RIA Headquarters at 734-994-6088.

Contact: 
Jeff Burnstein
734-994-6088

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