By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
Compared to a year ago, membership is up 24 percent at Robotic Industries Association, the only North American trade association dedicated solely to robotics. RIA has five categories of membership, including one for users which is up 39 percent. In all, more than 270 companies and institutions belong to RIA.
Users are vitally important to RIA and its members.
“RIA places great emphases on reaching companies that currently use or are considering using robots,” said Jeff Burnstein, RIA President. “Users join the Association to network with suppliers, integrators and experts who can help them find solutions to their challenges.”
Users help drive RIA activities through participation on committees as well as on the RIA Board of Directors. Among the Directors this year are representatives from the U.S. Postal Service, General Motors, Pepperidge Farm, Procter & Gamble and Spirit AeroSystems.
Those who attended RIA’s 2011 Robotics Industry Forum heard Mark Lewandowski, Corporate Engineering Machine Controls, Procter & Gamble, predict his company would see a five-fold increase in its use of robotics in the next three to five years. Many other companies are finding new uses for robots, too.
RIA has more than 30 new members so far this year. They include (users in bold):
Lanier Technical College (sponsored by Stäubli)
University of South Carolina Upstate (sponsored by Stäubli)
RIA’s mission is to improve the regional, national and global competitiveness of North American manufacturing and service sectors through promotion, education and enhancement of robotics and related automation.
A guide to suppliers, integrators, consultants and educators is provided by RIA in Robotics Online (www.robotics.org). The website includes a Member Control Panel (dashboard) used regularly by members who post information, respond to inquiries and gather intelligence on the industry. Every year, RIA holds the annual Robotics Industry Forum (January 18-20, Orlando, Florida) for members only. This high-level networking event takes place in conjunction with business conferences for Automated Imaging Association and Motion Control Association. These and other activities ensure members have an inside track on drivers and conditions that shape the industry.