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CEO DATELINE – Association reports record sales of robots

Nov. 16, 2021
By William Ehart

Faced with shortages of human workers, North American businesses are buying robots at a record pace, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3).

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Through the third quarter, companies have purchased nearly 29,000 robots valued at $1.48 billion, up from 21,072 through the same period last year and surpassing the previous highest total in the same period of 2017.

“With labor shortages throughout manufacturing, logistics and virtually every industry, companies of all sizes are increasingly turning to robotics and automation to stay productive and competitive,” Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, said in an article published on, a subsidiary of the International Society of Automation.

“As our latest statistics indicate, sales are on track to make 2021 the biggest year ever for robotics orders in North America. We see many current users expanding their applications of robotics and automation throughout their facilities while first-time robotics users are emerging in a wide range of industries such as automotive, agriculture, construction, electronics, food processing, life sciences, metalworking, warehousing and more.”

The first nine months of the year also saw non-automotive-related orders surpass auto-factory orders for just the second time.