Robots Building Robots: ABB Begins Construction of “Factory of the Future” in Shanghai

ABB breaking ground for their "factory of the future"

 

Today, multinational robotics company ABB announced that they have initiated construction of a new robotics manifacturing and research facility in Shanghai.

The factory will be the “most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robotics industry worldwide”, writes ABB in a press release " – a center where robots make robots.” The establishment of the factory is, according to Peter Voser, Chairman and CEO of ABB, a milestone in ABB’s development in China, the largest robotics market in the world.

A flexible factory to accommodate for rapid robotic development worldwide

ABB estimates that the global robot sales will grow from $80bn today to $130 bn in 2025. This underscores the need for a factory that can efficiently scale volumes and adapt to changing market conditions.

The 67.000 m2 factory is based on cells of automation rather than assembly lines, giving robots the possibility of moving from station to station allowing for greater flexibility. AGV’s (automated guided vehicles) will be delivering the needed parts for production, and collaborative technologies will ensure that humans and robots can work together safely, according to ABB.

The factory will be collaborating with customers to develop automation solutions tailored to individual needs, and the research center sets out to strengthen and advance innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Strong and lasting demand for automation solutions in China

There is a strong and lasting demand for automation in the region, according to Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business. He points to the shortage in skilled labour and an ongoing trend towards mass customization among other factors.

ABB has invested more than US$2.4 billion in China since 1992 and employs more than 2.000 people across the country. The cutting-edge factory is set to open during 2021 and will, according to ABB, strengthen the company’s leading position in China.