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Packaging is Part of Robotics’ Banner Year

Last year was a banner year for the robotics industry, “the strongest year ever,” according to statistics released in February by the Robotics Industries Association.

Pat Reynolds, VP/Editor, Packaging World Magazine
Pat Reynolds, VP/Editor, Packaging World Magazine

 “A total of 22,598 robots valued at $1.48 billion were sold to companies in North America in 2012, beating the previous record of 19,337 robots sold in 2011,” placing the U.S. second only to Japan in robot use, says RIA.

Compared to 2011, North American orders were up 17 percent in units and 27 percent in dollars. While the automotive industry was the strongest driver for this growth, increases were also seen in industries such as life sciences and pharmaceuticals (3 percent) and in applications such as assembly (40 percent), coating and dispensing (13 percent), and material handling (3 percent), among others.

According to Stuart Cooper, vice president of sales with Flexicell, who was quoted in a January article from RIA, “Robotics Industry Expected to Thrive in 2013,” this year holds promise, as well, especially in the areas of packaging and palletizing. “2013 will be a good year for the robotics industry. The return on investment in packing and palletizing applications is favorable. I anticipate accelerated growth in 2013 and do not see any markets within the robotics industry declining,” he said. 

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