US companies rush to add robots as demand surges – Hardware

Maria J. Danford

Providers in North America additional a record number of robots in the initially 9 months of this 12 months as they rushed to velocity up assembly lines and struggled to insert human staff.

Factories and other industrial customers ordered 29,000 robots, 37 percent additional than during the exact time period previous 12 months, valued at US$1.forty eight billion (A$2.03 billion), in accordance to data compiled by the marketplace team the Affiliation for Advancing Automation.

That surpassed the preceding peak set in the exact time time period in 2017, prior to the world-wide pandemic upended economies.

The rush to insert robots is section of a larger upswing in financial investment as companies seek out to retain up with robust desire, which in some circumstances has contributed to shortages of essential merchandise.

At the exact time, a lot of firms have struggled to entice again staff displaced by the pandemic and view robots as an alternate to including human muscle on their assembly lines.

“Businesses just cannot come across the persons they will need – that is why they are racing to automate,” reported Jeff Burnstein, president of the Affiliation for Advancing Automation, acknowledged as A3.

Robots also proceed to thrust into additional corners of the financial state. Auto companies have prolonged purchased most industrial robots.

But in 2020, mixed gross sales to other forms of firms surpassed the car sector for the initially time – and that pattern ongoing this 12 months.

In the initially 9 months of the 12 months, car-connected orders for robots grew twenty percent to twelve,544 models, in accordance to A3, while orders by non-automotive companies expanded fifty three percent to sixteen,355.

“It is not that automotive is slowing down – car is up,” reported Burnstein. But other sectors – from metals to meals manufacturers – are growing even speedier.

John Newman’s corporation is a single of them. Athena Producing, which does metallic fabrication for other manufacturers in Austin, Texas, now has 7 robots, together with four mounted this 12 months. It purchased its initially equipment in 2016.

Newman reported robots have served Athena answer to a surge in desire, together with a fifty percent bounce in orders for pieces applied by semiconductor products manufacturers.

The equipment also allowed Athena to shift to an all-around-the-clock operation for the initially time previous 12 months, he reported.

The corporation employs 250 but would have struggled, he reported, to come across staff to fill unpopular overnight shifts.

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