North america put more Robots to work than ever before

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Automation’s not just for the automotive anymore.

According to new statistics released by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), an industry group promoting automation, the American automotive industry added 12 percent fewer to its workforce in 2018 than in 2017.

However, a slew of other industries picked up the slack making 2018 a record-breaking year for new robot workers.

Robot Revolution

According to A3, robot manufacturers shipped a total of 35,880 robots to customers in 2018, which is 7 percent more than in 2017. Of those, 19,178 robot workers went to automotive customers, down from 21,732 in 2017.

Many other industries saw significant increases in the number of robots added to the force, though — food and consumer goods, life sciences, and electronics saw increases of 48 percent, 31 percent, and 22 percent, respectively.

“While the automotive industry has always led the way in implementing robotics here in North , we are quite pleased to see other industries continuing to realize the benefits of automation,” A3 president Jeff Burnstein said in a press release.

“And as we’ve heard from our members and at shows such as Automate, these and shipments aren’t just to large, multinational companies anymore,” he continued. “Small and medium-sized companies are using robots to solve real-world challenges, which is helping them be more competitive on a global scale.”

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Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, an organization focused on the intersection of innovation and policy, wasn’t surprised by A3’s findings on the increases in robot workers.

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