A first look at numbers from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) report on industrial robots shows that worldwide robot sales grew again in 2015, and were 15% more than 2014. Explosive growth was seen in the automotive industry and technological advances enabling small and medium size manufacturers (SMEs) to compete using collaborative robots.
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), representing North American robotics, reported similar results: 2015 set new records and showed a 14% increase in units and 11% in dollars over 2014. The automotive industry was the primary growth sector, with robot orders increasing 19% year over year. Non-automotive robot orders grew at 5%.
Both agencies show industrial robot statistics. Later, the IFR will come out with service robot data.
Collaborative robots are a hot topic and product in manufacturing today. New collaborative robots by Universal Robots, Rethink Robotics, KUKA and ABB are hitting the marketplace and bringing robotics – and jobs – to new, smaller shops and factories.
“Today there are more opportunities than ever before in the robotics industry,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. “The continuing growth in robotics is opening many new job opportunities for people who can program, install, run, and maintain robots. In fact, if you look closer at the jobs discussion, automation is helping to save and create jobs. A lot of companies tell us they wouldn’t be in business without robotics and related automation.”