Robot sales reached a record high in the first quarter of 2022
According to industry statistics published by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), robot sales reached a record high in the first quarter of 2022, with North American businesses buying the most robots in a single quarter.
From Q1 2021, when North American businesses bought 9,098 units, to Q1 2022, when 11,595 units were sold, robot sales grew by 28%. From $466 million in Q1 2021 to $646 million in Q1 2022, sales climbed by 43 percent!
Over 6,000 of the 11,595 units sold during the first quarter of 2022 were to non-automotive consumers, while automakers purchased nearly 5,500. Sales of automotive robots have historically exceeded those of non-automotive robots, but this pattern has changed since 2020, when non-automotive sales surpassed those of automobiles for the first time.
According to Alex Shikany, vice president of membership and business intelligence at A3, "Every industry, including agriculture, construction, retail, and hospitality, is now looking at how they can use robotics to make their firms more successful." These businesses understand that robots can not only replace the dull, risky, and hard-to-fill positions humans do not want to do but also can save and create jobs as automation helps expand their businesses.
Robot unit sales increased by double digits in Q1 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021 in every industry segment that A3 examined. For example, metals experienced a rise of 40%, plastics and rubber saw an increase of 29%, semiconductors and electronics/photonics saw a rise of 23%, food and consumer products saw an increase of 14%, and all other industries had a surge of 56%.
Note that A3 exclusively gathers sales information for conventional industrial robots. It does not collect data on collaborative robotic arms or autonomous mobile robots. Sales figures would be significantly higher if A3 also kept track of sales for these kinds of robots.