ABB: 62% of US businesses looking to invest in robotics

ABB’s robots being deployed at a painting station in one of OLA’s mega-factories for electric scooters. | Source: ABB

ABB released the results of its survey of 1,610 executives in the U.S. and Europe. The survey found that 62% of U.S. companies indicated that they will invest in robotics and automation in the next three years. 

Robot sales have been rising in the North America steadily since 2019, according to statistics from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). Sales hit a record high in the first quarter of 2022, with North American companies the most industrial robots ever in a single quarter. 

Robot sales increased 28% from Q1 of 2021, when North American companies purchased 9,098 units, to 11,595 units sold in 2022.

“Business leaders are responding to unprecedented supply chain disruptions by putting into place measures to make operations more resilient and adaptable,” Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business, said at SelectUSA. “While investment in automation plays a key role in flexibility in operations, equally important is investment in education, vocational training, and apprenticeship programs needed to create safer, higher-paying jobs for American workers.”

43% of businesses surveyed said that they were planning to invest more in robotics and automation to address supply chain concerns and meet customer demands. 73% of U.S. businesses said that they thought robotics and automation will be a significant player in addressing supply chain issues. 

In total, 70% of U.S. businesses were planning on making changes to their operations, whether that be to bring production closer to home or to bring more robots into their operations. 

Interest in automation has also increased around the world. According to ABB’s survey, 74% of European businesses indicated they would invest in robotics and automation in the next three years. 

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) tracks the number of industrial robots operating around the world, and robot density, which measures the number of robots per 10,000 workers in an industry. Robot density nearly doubled worldwide from 2015 to 2020

The IFR found that robot density was the highest in 2020 in Korea, Singapore and Japan, with Germany and Sweden being the fourth and fifth most automated countries. The United States was the seventh most automated country in 2020. 

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