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From the Desk of RIA Chair, Catherine Morris

Robotic Industries Association 1st Quarter Updates

Apex, NC,  April 18, 2013

From the desk of the RIA Chair and Director of Automotive Sales for ATI Industrial Automation, Catherine Morris:

2013 is off to a great start!  Automation continues to be HOT and it sounds like all continue to be very busy. I wanted to provide a summary on how things ended up for Automate 2013, the RIA Forum, and other programs, as well as some updates on initiatives for 2013.

Automate 2013 - Many said that there was no way to have a successful show in January, but the January 2013 show exceeded all expectations, and we exceeded our goals in all areas. Some of the most dramatic numbers are below. The Expert Huddles were very well received and well attended. We look forward to growing these in 2015. The conference also shattered all previous attendance records. We could not have dreamed for a better showing for January in Chicago. A very exciting statistic was that nearly 50% of the attendees said Automate was the only show they had attended in the past two years. Feedback from exhibitors was very positive and most felt that the show generated leads for them that they would not have gotten elsewhere. 


Exhibitors - 197 total compared to 169 - 16.5% increase

Exhibit Space - 50,100 compared to 46,450 - 8% increase (even though we limited maximum booth size to help exhibitors reduce costs in 2013)

Overall Attendance (with ProMat crossover) - 10,975 compared to 7,945 - 38% increase!!!


Automate 2015 - The co-location with ProMat continues to be very good for both parties and I am happy to announce that we will collocate again in 2015. The show will return to the more popular March time-frame with dates of March 23-26. We will soon start promotions on this show, but have great confidence that the successes will continue and the show will continue to grow. Space sales will begin soon, so be on the lookout for exhibitor information. Based on the results and feedback from 2013, this will be a show you will not want to miss. 


20th Annual Robotics Industry Forum - We celebrated our 20th anniversary in style with a terrific lineup of speakers. The group was headlined by American Theoretical Physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku! Dr. Kaku inspired us to think outside the box. His talk relating excerpts from his latest book, Physics of the Future, caused all in attendance to consider how vision, robotics, and motion control can play a key part in each of his predictions and be ready to move into the future. Another innovator, Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics presented a powerful talk. Add in a great talk on the economy from Alan Beaulieu (who will be back next year!), several other terrific talks, wonderful networking with nearly 400 industry leaders, and it’s no surprise that this year’s Forum received outstanding evaluations! The 2014 Forum will return to Florida in our normal January time frame. Save these dates on your calendar now: 21st Annual Robotics Industry Forum, January 22 - January 24 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.


System Integrator Certification - We continue to grow the certified integrators and continue to have more in the pipeline waiting. Total number of certified integrators is now at 12! Integrators definitely see the value and appear to appreciate the opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors! Integrators also continue to report that they are receiving calls from new potential customers just because their name is on the RIA Certified Integrator page. Check this link for more information: Certified Robot Integrator Program 


RIA Safety Standard - I am happy to announce that we have just received ANSI approval for ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 Industrial Robots and Robot Systems - Safety Requirements. Progress is continuing on other requirements removed from the standard. Technical Reports on Risk Assessment and Safeguarding, as well as a new guidance paper on Applicability for existing equipment, will be ready for balloting at the next meeting. I commend those involved in this process for all their hard work and making this happen. 


Webinar - This RIA initiative spearheaded by Adil Shafi and staff continues to be one of our major outreach success stories. The program began as an idea in 2010 and was launched in 2011. Last year we attracted more than 5,700 registrations. Many of the attendees are in distance locations in the world. Of the approximately 5,700 registrations, about 40% of them attended live. Later approximately 20% attend archived sessions. A growing number of high schools, community colleges and universities are now recommending these webinars to their students. In 2013, we plan to do 14 more webinars. We are very excited that due to many requests, that we also have 8 new advanced topics this year! RIA - Robotics Online - Webinars & Education


Companies see the value in RIA membership and we continue to grow! We welcomed many new members in 2012 and expect the same growth in 2013. I firmly believe that our association, and our industry, can only be as strong as we make it! I know you have heard this before, but once again, I encourage you to get involved and participate! Spreading the Automation message grows business for all of us. Let me know if you have feedback or thoughts to share as I am always open to discuss.

Thanks again for your interest in, involvement, and commitment to our industry.  

Catherine Morris


RIA Chair

For more information about RIA and the robotics industry, visit www.robotics.org or contact RIA Headquarters at 734-994-6088.

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