A recently released World Robotics report projects robot installations in the U.S. to grow 10% to 39,576 units in 2022, almost equaling the record level of 40,373 units reached in 2018.
Marina Bill, president of the International Federation of Robotics, emphasizes: “The United States represents the largest market in the United States, accounting for 71% of all installations in the United States by 2022.” Globally, by 2022, the US will account for 7% of robot installations, ranking third globally behind China and Japan.
The largest increase was recorded in the US auto industry, which saw a 47% increase in installations, equal to 14,472 units and good for a 37% market share. In contrast, the metals and machinery industry experienced a 7% decline to 3,900 units, nearly doubling the previous year’s installations. However, the electrical/electronics sector grew by 26% to 3,732 units.
The outlook for 2023 is mixed. Labor shortages and inflation are a drag on the economy, and high interest rates have dampened appetite for public investment. Robotics order intake in the US showed a decline in the first and second quarters of 2023, but a large order book will ensure production remains at a high level. Optimism is fueled by substantial political support for U.S. government investments through initiatives such as the CHIPS and SCIENCE Act, the Infrastructure and JOBS Act, and the Anti-Inflation Act. These support measures have created new manufacturing capacity in sectors as diverse as the automotive, electronics, chemical and pharmaceutical, and metallurgical industries, all of which show high demand for robots.