Augusto Beato of Portland SEO expects a wider variety of industries to soon find it imperative to deploy robots due to the safety and flexibility of modern versions.
He was reacting to news that Worldwide delivery service DHL is deploying artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, and product-picking robots at its warehouses in North America to help handle the surge in e-commerce demand.
The U.S. unit of Deutsche Post AG will spend $300 million on its plan to equip 350 of its 430 facilities with new technology that includes autonomous trolleys that shadow human workers and robots that can pick and sort products by themselves.
North American robot orders to non-automotive companies surged to record highs through the first nine months of 2018. "Robotics is now being deployed outside traditional customers in automotive, and this could signal an impending growth in robotics," said Beato, who is the CEO of Portland SEO.
Traditionally, the automotive industry has accounted for over 60 percent of the North American market, but that number is down to 52 percent through September, with non-automotive orders at 48 percent.
Among the non-automotive industries that set new records were life sciences (30 percent to 1,143 units), food and consumer goods (24 percent to 1,747 units), plastics and rubber (16 percent to 470 units) and electronics (14 percent to 1,280 units).
“Despite the cyclical swing in automotive orders, which we’ve seen before, interest in new robotics technologies continues to grow,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of Robotic Industries Association (RIA).
Robot shipments are a historically accurate indicator of the number of robots delivered and installed by North American customers. Alternatively, robot orders provide a glimpse of future market expectations.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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