U.S. Companies to Install More Robots to Work

U.S. companies installed more robots last year than ever before. Research firm IDC is forecasting that the worldwide market for commercial service robotics will grow rapidly over the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in excess of 20% to reach $53 billion by 2022.

Pressure to automate is growing as companies seek to cut labor costs in a tight job market. Many companies that are considering bringing work back from overseas in response to the Trump administration’s trade wars may find automation the best way to stay competitive, even with higher-cost U.S. workers.

Bob Doyle, vice president of the Association for Advancing Automation, said automation is moving far beyond its traditional foothold in auto assembly plants and other large manufacturers into warehouses and smaller factories.

Last year marked the first time since 2010 that auto and auto part companies failed to account for more than half of shipments, coming at just under 49 percent instead, according to the report. In 2017, over 60 percent of shipments went to automakers.