For the third year in a row, the industrial robotic industry is setting new records in robot orders and shipments in North America.
The number of robots ordered reached 34,606 in 2016, which is an increase of 10% from 2015. The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) since the 2009 recession is 20%, as seen in the chart above. The value of those orders was around $ 1.9 billion.
Even if 2016 was a new record year, the year-to-year growth rate is slowing down. After a slight drop of 5% in 2013, the robot orders jumped by 28% in 2014, 14% in 2015 and 10% in 2016. The CAGR for those last three years is at 17%. We do not believe that this indicates that robot orders are approaching a plateau, as there are many industries like distribution and logistics still in their upswing curve in industrial robot adoption.
Robot shipments to North American companies have steadily increased every year since 2011. The year-to-year increase is quite stable and regular, with a CAGR of 12%. It is interesting to note that, in 2016, the number of robots shipped is 73% higher than in 2011.
US Unemployment Rate
It is quite fascinating to see that the increase of robot orders and shipments happens as the unemployment rate in the United States decreases. After reaching a high in 2009 at 9.9%, it steadily decreases to reach 4.7% at the end of 2016. This represents a CAGR decrease of 10% for that time. Of course, the unemployment rate covers all the industries, not only manufacturing, but it is still nice to see that increases in robot shipments does not impact negatively the unemployment rate.
And what about the future? Various market studies state that the growth will continue at a pace of about 12% per year until 2019. Read more from the RIA official press release.