Pressure to automate is growing as companies seek to cut labor costs in a tight job market. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo
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U.S. companies installed more robots last year than ever before, as cheaper and more flexible machines put them within reach of businesses of all sizes and in more corners of the economy beyond their traditional foothold in car plants.Shipments to food and consumer goods companies surged 60 percent compared to the year before.Shipments to semiconductor and electronics plants were up over 50 percent, while shipments to metal producers rose 13 percent.Last year marked the first time since 2010 that auto and auto part companies failed to account for more than half of shipments, coming at just under 49 percent instead, according to the report.In 2017, over 60 percent of shipments went to automakers.
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