North American companies ordered a record 29,000 robots in the first nine months of 2021 as they tried to cope with a severe shortage of staff, an industry group said Friday.
The number of orders was 37% higher than for the same nine-month period in 2020, according to data in a press release by Association for Advancing Automation (A3). Sales hit $1.48 billion in the first nine months of this year, up from $1.09 billion for the same period in 2020, A3 said.
“With labor shortages throughout manufacturing, logistics and virtually every industry, companies of all sizes are increasingly turning to robotics and automation to stay productive and competitive,” Jeff Burnstein, A3’s president, said in the press release.
This year’s robot sales beat the previous record in 2017, when sales hit $1.47 billion, according to A3’s data.
Companies in North America ordered nearly 10,000 robots in the third quarter of this year, up 32% on 2020, with sales amounting to $513 million, a rise of 35%, per A3.
Almost two-thirds of sales in the third quarter of 2021 came from non-automotive industries, including food and consumer groups, A3 said.