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Global sales of robots doubled in 2010

23 March, 2011

Global sales of industrial robots almost doubled in 2010, with 115,000 being shipped, and could hit a new peak this year with 130,000 machines being sold, according to a new report from the Industrial Federation of Robotics. The IFR expects the sales growth to continue at around 5% up to 2014, although this forecast does not include any possible effects from the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The surge in business follows a very poor year in 2009 when sales were at their lowest since the early 1990s.

The fastest-growing region for robot sales last year was Asia, which recorded a 127% increase to about 67,000 machines. In Europe, 30,000 robots were sold, representing a 45% increase over 2009, but still below the peak levels of 2007 and 2008.

“The recovery has been remarkable," says Per Nerseth, head of ABB Robotics’ global operations. “Who would have dared to forecast back in the summer of 2009 that 2010 would be a record-breaking year in sales of industrial robots. I think that took the whole of the industry by surprise. The really exciting news is that the trend looks like continuing into 2011 and beyond.”

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