US Robot Density Now More Than Double That of China – IFR Says

-US Industrial robot installations rise +14% -US Robot Market: 2.1 billion US$

Robot sales in the United States hit a new peak of almost 38,000 units, setting a record for the eighth year in a row (2010-2018). Today, robot density in the US manufacturing industry is now more than double that of China and ranks seventh worldwide. These results are published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

Robot density in the US manufacturing industry reached 200 robots per 10,000 employees vs. 97 in China (2017). The trend to automate production in both domestic and global markets is the main driving force of robot installations in the US. The general industry sector, particularly the food and beverage industry (+64%) and the plastic and chemical products industry (+30%), had the highest growth.

Automotive Industry

In terms of market share, the automotive sector is the most important customer for robots. The US car market is the second largest car market in the world after China. Within the US automotive sector, part suppliers account for two thirds of installations: Sales went up by 9 percent (2017-2018). However, car manufacturers (OEM) invested less in automation - installations went down by 26%. The average annual growth rate of robot sales to the US automotive industry between 2013 and 2018 was 7%.
Robot density in the automotive industry increased by 52% between 2012 and 2017, from 790 to 1,200 industrial robots in operation per 10,000 employees (robot density China 2017: 539 units). According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics USA, employment in the automotive industry increased by 22% from 824,400 to 1,005,000 jobs (2013-2018).

Electrical/Electronics Industry

The electrical/electronics industry was the second most important customer in 2018 with a market share of 18% of the total supply.

North America - USA, Canada, Mexico

"The North American countries (United States, Canada, and Mexico) represent the second largest operational stock of industrial robots in the world after China," says Junji Tsuda, President of the International Federation of Robotics.

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