Robotic Industries Association (www.roboticsonline.com) has reported that robot sales in North America rose by 19 percent in 2003 from the prior year. A total of 12,367 robots valued at $876.5 million were ordered, the RIA says, and the value reaches $913 million when orders from outside North America are considered. According to the RIA, which now tracks orders by the end-user industries, the 2003 figures show that 68 percent of the North American robots went to automotive-related applications, while 32 percent went to non-automotive markets such as food and consumer goods, plastics and rubber, life sciences, and electronics. Meanwhile, material handling remained the largest application area for 2003 North American robot orders.
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