© abb Analysis | August 22, 2017
A3 reports record setting growth for robotics
As expected, many records were set in the areas of robotics, machine vision, motion control and motor technology for the first half of 2017, writes The Association for Advancing Automation (A3).
The North American robotics market had its best opening half ever to begin 2017, setting new records in all four statistical categories (order units, order revenue, shipment units, and shipment revenue). In total, 19'331 robots valued at approximately USD 1.031 billion were sold in North America during the first half of 2017, which is the highest level ever recorded to begin a year. These figures represent growth of 33 percent in units and 26 percent in dollars over 2016. Automotive related orders grew substantially in that time, increasing 39 percent in units and 37 percent in dollars, while non-automotive orders also grew 21 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars over the first half of 2016. For the first half of 2017, orders for motion control and motor products amounted to USD 1.622 billion, up 14 percent over the first six months of 2016. Shipments totalled USD 1.757 billion, up 10 percent over the first half of 2016, and the fastest growing categories in that timeframe, in terms of shipments, were Motion Controllers (21% to USD 97 million), Sensors & Feedback Devices (20% to USD 76 million), Actuators & Mechanical Systems (17% to USD 318 million), and AC Drives (17% to USD 199 million). In 2017, the machine vision market in North America also posted its best first half performance compared to any other year. A total of USD 1.241 billion was sold in the first six months of the year, with an increase of 11 percent over the same period in 2016. Machine vision component markets were up 11 percent in total to USD 177 million and systems increased 10 percent to USD 1.058 billion. Some notable growth rates were: Lighting (20% to USD 35 million), Smart Cameras (16% to USD 183 million), and Optics (16% to USD 20 million). Experts expect software to trend up, cameras, lighting, and imaging boards to be flat, and optics to trend down over the next six months. Additionally, expectations are for Application Specific Machine Vision (ASMV) systems to increase and smart cameras to remain flat in the next two quarters.
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