The numbers are in for 2018 and the growth in the use of robotics has created some impressive numbers for the year.

The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) has reported that 35,880 units were shipped in 2018, which resulted in a 7% year-over-year growth from 2017.

Shipments reaching companies in the automotive segment saw a slow down of 12%, while non-automotive firms more than picked up the slack with shipment growth of 41%. In 2018 the automotive industry accounted for only 53% of robot shipments in North America, showing the further diversification in robot use across multiple industry segments. Significant order increases came from Food & Consumer Goods (48%), Plastics & Rubber (37%), Life Sciences (31%), and Electronics (22%).

Jeff Burnstein, President of the Association for Advancing Automation (of which the RIA is a part) had some encouraging words to say on the results. “While the automotive industry has always led the way in implementing robotics here in North America, we are quite pleased to see other industries continuing to realize the benefits of automation.” “And as we’ve heard from our members and at shows such as Automate, these sales and shipments aren’t just to large, multinational companies anymore. Small and medium-sized companies are using robots to solve real-world challenges, which is helping them be more competitive on a global scale.”

To learn more about the RIA visit them here.