ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 18 -- Robot orders in North American rose 11 percent in the first nine months of 2002, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).
Through September, RIA reported, 7,511 robots valued at $596.4 million were ordered by North American customers, an increase of 11 percent in units and 15 percent in dollars over the same period in 2001. Including sales outside North America, robot suppliers sold a total of 7,766 robots valued at $618.6 million in the first nine months of 2002, a five percent gain in units and an 11 percent increase in dollars.
RIA said the biggest gains in 2002 have been in orders for arc welding, dispensing/coating, spot welding and higher payload material handling and assembly robots. The only major application areas that declined in the first nine months were lower payload assembly and material handling applications, material removal and inspection, which as a group account for only 15 percent of the robotics market.
RIA estimates that some 124,000 robots are now at use in US factories, placing it second only to Japan in robot use.
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