(ORDO NEWS) — In the past year, North American companies have introduced a record number of robots into their production processes.
The machines were used in a variety of areas from collecting cans and bottles on the conveyors of waste processing plants to packing small purchases in the warehouses of large online stores.
According to the Association for Advanced Automation (A3), U.S. companies spent more than $2 billion on 39,708 robots in 2021, up 28% from 2020.
The previous record was set in 2017, when $1.9 billion was spent to buy 34,904 robots. In 2016, the auto industry purchased more robots than all other industries combined, but already in 2020, the leadership passed to companies that are not related to the automotive industry.
Last year, metallurgy, as well as the food and consumer industries, demonstrated the greatest dynamics. Another rapidly growing sector was e-commerce.
The California company DCL Logistics noted that robots employed in order processing centers provided a 200 percent increase in labor productivity in enterprises with fewer live workers compared to the traditional model.
A3 mainly tracks orders for conventional industrial robots, but now there is a growing demand for the so-called “cobots” – machines designed to work together with a person
Robots of this type are increasingly used in industries that resisted the automation of production until recently. In particular, such mechanisms were purchased by one construction company, which began to use them in the installation of drywall at sites.
The auto industry, which has become a pioneer in robotics, is not far behind. At a plant in Turin, Italy, robots were previously used to weld metal, but now the machines are working together with a person and are already performing tasks for the final assembly of the electric Fiat 500.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced his intention to use Optimus humanoid robots in the production of electric vehicles next year Musk).
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