Teradyne’s industrial automation group, which includes AutoGuide Mobile Robots, Energid, Mobile Industrial Robots and Universal Robots, generated $376 million in revenue in 2021. That marks a 34% increase from the $280 million generated in 2020.
Universal Robots (UR) increased sales 41% for the year, while Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) grew sales 42% in 2021. Revenue for AutoGuide Mobile Robots declined and was under $2 million, and Energid’s is lumped in with UR’s collaborative robotic arms.
Teradyne said it expects its industrial automation business to “power along with 35% plus growth” in 2022.
Here is a recap of the group’s revenues for each quarter of the last two years:
Universal Robots sets records
UR itself generated a record $311 million in revenue in 2021, which accounts for nearly 83% of all revenue for Teradyne’s industrial automation group. UR’s revenue increased 41% over 2020 ($220 million) and 23% up on pre-pandemic results in 2019.
Teradyne’s earnings call highlighted the expanded use of UR’s cobot arms in welding applications. Welding applications now account for more than 6% of UR sales. Teradyne said that is more than 3x above 2020 levels.
“Universal Robots has had a great year,” said UR president Kim Polvsen.”In a company like ours, which manufactures sophisticated hardware to high quality standards, this sort of growth requires tremendous commitment from all involved. Our production team in Denmark has broken internal records for the number of cobots built, producing 400 cobots in a single week in Q4. Our supply chain experts have worked hard to keep our business running smoothly despite global supply challenges.”
UR generated $97 million in revenue in Q4, its largest quarterly revenue number ever. That marks a 22% increase on Q4 2020 and 28% up on Q4 2019.
“Our growth is driven by several long-term trends, including workforce shortages and
growing awareness of the contribution automation can make to productivity,” Povlsen said. “As well as reaching new consumers, we see repeat business from manufacturers extending their use of cobots after seeing the impact of the technology.”
MiR generated a total of $64 million in revenue in 2021. Its best seller was the MiR250, but its higher payload MiR600 and MiR1350 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) also sold well. MiR said it sold nearly 300 AMRs in December 2021, which set a record for a single month.
“The diversification of our customer list is just phenomenal,” said Ed Mullen, MiR’s VP of sales for the Americas. “We had 52 customers that made up that 300 quantity. It wasn’t just one big customer purchasing a lot of AMRs. We’re appealing to different industries in which automation wasn’t prevalent before. 3PL and cross-docking typically see a lot of conveyance, for example, but now we’re appealing to these customers.”
Mullen said a perfect storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortage, and companies struggling to survive has led to the uptick in AMR sales.
“We started to see a trend over the last 12 months where big global customers started getting excited by AMRs. These low-end types of jobs moving things around are becoming harder to fill. The Toyotas, Intels, and other major companies are starting to think outside the box to solve these problems.”