Factory Machinery Makers Win With the Electric Vehicle Boom

Factory equipment manufacturers who supply the highly automated picks, shovels, and other tools needed to prospect for the EV gold rush are enjoying a boom in investment from both established and new automakers in the electric car market.
The recovery in U.S. manufacturing has led to good times for robot makers and other equipment manufacturers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, new orders rose to nearly $506 million in June after falling to $361.8 Million in April 2020 due to COVID.
Here’s a graphic on U.S. manufacturing new orders: https://graphics.reuters.com/AUTOS-PLANTS/EQUIPMENT/zjvqkkqjbvx/index.html
New factories for electric vehicles are being built by investors who have bought shares in newly public companies like Lucid Group Inc, which is boosting demand. “I don’t think it’s reached its peak yet. Andrew Lloyd, the leader of the electromobility segment at Stellantis-owned Comau, stated in an interview that there is still much to be done. “Over the next 18-24 months, there will be a significant demand for our products.”
The success of Tesla Inc has accelerated growth in the EV sector. This is on top of the usual work that manufacturing equipment manufacturers do to support the production of gasoline-powered cars.
According to LMC Automotive, automakers will invest more than $37 billion in North American plants between 2019 and 2025. 15 of 17 new American plants will be built in the United States. More than 77% of this spending will go to EV or SUV projects.
Equipment providers don’t rush to increase their capacity.
Comau’s Lloyd said that there is a natural point at which we will say “No” to new business. According to industry officials, automakers can spend anywhere from $200 million to $300 millions on a single area of a factory like a body shop or paint shop.
“WILD, WILD WEST” John Kacsur, Rockwell Automation’s vice president for the automotive and tire segments, said to Reuters that there is a mad race to get these new EV variants on the market. According to Laurie Harbour, an industry consultant, there is a mad rush to bring these new EVs to market. According to Kacsur, automakers have signed agreements with suppliers to build equipment for 37 EVs in North America between this year 2023. This excludes all work being done on gasoline-powered vehicles.
Mathias Christen, a Durr AG spokesperson, said that there is still a pipeline of projects from new EV manufacturer. Durr AG specializes in paint shop equipment. It saw its EV business grow by about 65% last fiscal year. “This is why the peak is not yet seen.”
Kuka AG, a Chinese manufacturing automation company, received 52% more orders than expected. It now stands at just under 1.9 billion euros ($2.23 Billion). This is due to strong demand from Asia and North America.
Mike LaRose CEO of Kuka’s Americas auto group, stated that “we ran out of capacity for any extra work around a year and half ago.” “Everyone is so busy, there’s no room for everyone.”
Kuka is building electric vans at its Michigan plant for General Motors Co to meet demand before the No. One U.S. automaker will replace equipment at its Ingersoll plant in Ontario next year to handle regular work. Although automakers and battery companies must order robots and other equipment 18 months in advance, Neil Dueweke, vice-president of automotive at Fanuc Corp, stated that customers want their equipment sooner. He calls this the “Amazon effect” within the industry.
Dueweke said that he built a facility with 5,000 robots, and that shelves were stacked 200 feet high. This is almost as far as the eye can see. Dueweke also noted Fanuc America’s market share and sales records last year.
Some automakers have also experienced delays and problems due to COVID when trying to upgrade their vehicles.
R.J. Scaringe, CE