ANN ARBOR, MI—A total of 6,895 robots valued at approximately $435.1 million were ordered from North American companies during the first quarter of 2015. That’s an increase of 16 percent in units and 29 percent in dollars compared with the same period in 2014. Both orders and shipments in the opening quarter beat the previous record for the first quarter last set in 2013.
Manufacturing high-quality parts is no longer the only measurement of success for Tier 1 automotive suppliers. Reliable part traceability—from preassembly until the end of its wear life—is equally important.
At the Automate trade show in Chicago last week, the exhibit hall was buzzing with talk about collaborative robots. The next-generation machines allow robots to operate side-by-side with humans on assembly lines.