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The Automation Industry Sentiment – A Tale of Two Halves

Robotics & Warehouse Automation

April 2023

Interact Analysis attended the ProMat 2023 show in March. A free report with key findings is available to download on the event page.

The industry sentiment for material handling and logistic over the course of 2023 looks to be very mixed; with mobile automation set to have a strong year, whereas fixed automation vendors aren’t expecting much growth after a drop in order intake in 2022.

This was the consensus gained from speaking with over 100 companies at this year’s ProMat 2023. Is the increase in demand for mobile robots happening at the expense of fixed automation? AMRs in particular are being used more often in larger automation projects, which would have been served by fixed automation previously.

Multi-fleet orchestration was another major topic, which is becoming more important with the rise of mobile robot solutions. This has been driven mainly by the automotive industry, with many factories deploying more and more AMRs and AGVs.

In the US, there is indication of a growing demand for automation in production and manufacturing verticals, particularly in food & beverage and durable manufacturing. The Inflation Reduction Act and a trend toward near-shoring seems to be driving this growth.

Other talking points gathered at ProMat 2023 included a rise of hardware-agnostic system integrations, a slowdown of greenfield sites and the labor challenges that still persist.

Robotic trailer (un)loading, robotic sorting systems and robotic picking were major themes at the show, with many companies showcasing robotic arms at their booths, demonstrating piece picking, depalletizing or sorting.

For a full report on the show, which discusses our findings and key trends in more detail, visit our event page to download our free tradeshow report.

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