Latest EV Shift Drives Robot Installations in U.S.

Manufacturing companies in the United States have invested heavily in more automation. Based on a preliminary study by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), total installations of industrial robots rose 12% and reached 44,303 units in 2023. Primarily, the number one adopter is the car industry followed by the electrical and electronics sector.

“The United States has one of the most advanced manufacturing industries worldwide,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “The first IFR outlook on preliminary results shows again strong robotics demand across all major segments of U.S. manufacturing in 2023.”

Preliminary results of robot shipments in 2023 in the U.S.

U.S. Automotive Industry

Mainly, sales in the automotive segment rose 1% with a record number of 14,678 robots installed in 2023. This comes after installations in 2022 skyrocketed 47% reaching 14,472 units. Also, the market share of car and component makers hit 33% of all industrial robot installations in the U.S. in 2023. The United States has the second-largest production volume of cars and light vehicles worldwide, following China.

“Automotive manufacturers currently invest in robotics mainly to drive the electric vehicle (EV) transition and respond to labor shortages,” says Marina Bill.

U.S. Electrical and Electronics Industry

Meanwhile, installations in the electrical and electronics industry rose 37% to 5,120 units in 2023. This number almost reached the record pre-pandemic level of 5,284 units, seen in 2018. Also, the latest result represents a market share of 12% of all industrial robots installed in the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Mainly, demand for industrial robots in this segment is influenced by a trend to strengthen domestic supply chains and projects that drive the clean-energy transition.

Other Strong U.S. Sectors

Installation counts in other industries exceeding the 3,000-unit mark in the U.S. are: metal and machinery (4,123 units, +6%) and plastic and chemical products (3,213 units, +5%). In total, they represent a market share of 9% and 7% of industrial robot installations in 2023, respectively.

Canada and Mexico

Meanwhile, robot installation in Canada reached 4,616 units – up 43%. Particularly, the automotive industry accounts for 55% of the country’s robot installations. Sales to the automotive sector rose 99% with 2,549 units installed in 2023, which is an all-time high.

Further, installed robots in Mexico’s manufacturing industry remain almost unchanged with 5,868 units in 2023. For the period, the country’s main adopter was the automotive industry, which accounted for 69% of the robot installations. Also, sales reached 4,068 units (-0%) in 2023 – the third-best result since the peak level of 4,805 units in 2017.

-03 May 2024-