ABB Announces $280 Million Investment to Expand Robotics Manufacturing in Europe

by | Sep 13, 2023 | General News

In a strategic move to bolster its presence in the European robotics market, ABB has announced a significant investment of $280 million. This substantial financial commitment will facilitate the expansion of ABB’s manufacturing capabilities in Europe and lead to the establishment of a cutting-edge facility known as the ABB Robotics European Campus in Västerås, Sweden.

The primary objective of this new Campus is to serve as the central hub for ABB Robotics’ offerings throughout Europe. It will cater to the growing demand for AI-powered collaborative and industrial robots and digital solutions that support flexible automation. This initiative aligns with ABB’s “local for local” production strategy. Anticipated to open its doors in late 2026, the ABB Robotics European Campus will replace the existing robotics facilities on-site.

Björn Rosengren, ABB CEO, emphasizes that this substantial investment is driven by customer demand and projected market growth. Following significant investments in China and the U.S, this new facility in Sweden is poised to enhance ABB’s capacity to serve European customers with locally manufactured products in a thriving market. Remarkably, approximately 95 percent of the robots ABB currently sells in the region are already manufactured locally. This underscores ABB’s unwavering commitment not only to its “local for local” strategy but also to its robotics customers across Europe.

The investment in the Robotics Campus in Västerås is set to solidify ABB’s global leadership in robotics and automation. The facility will increase production capacity by an impressive 50 percent, fortifying ABB’s ability to supply the rapidly growing European market. Projections indicate a seven percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) through 2027 for the European market. With this investment, ABB will have directed a total of $450 million into its three robotics facilities since 2018, encompassing its mega factory in Shanghai serving Asia and the Auburn Hills facility supporting the Americas.

Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area, underscores the significance of this investment in the current climate. He highlights that the new Campus is a crucial element of ABB’s global growth strategy, primarily as European customers increasingly invest in robotics and AI. This is driven by factors such as the reshoring of industry, the shift towards more sustainable supply chains, and ongoing labor shortages. ABB’s Robotics Campus will streamline customer service, benefiting sectors such as automotive, electronics, logistics, healthcare, e-commerce, and pharmaceuticals by unlocking the full potential of automation.

The ABB Robotics European Campus will foster close collaboration with customers and partners to develop robotics and automation solutions within a safe and functional environment. It will provide opportunities for testing solutions and experimenting with the latest automation innovations on-site. Furthermore, the Campus aims to create an open and vibrant environment that welcomes employees, visitors, and students during and after office hours.

Marc Segura, President of ABB Robotics, recognizes the historical significance of the location chosen for the new facility. Sweden is where ABB pioneered the development of the world’s first commercial all-electric robot almost five decades ago. The focus of the new Research and Development Center within the Campus will be on advancing digital and AI-enabled technologies. This effort aims to make robots more accessible while lowering entry barriers for applications across various industries.

The 65,000 square meter Campus will serve as a workplace for ABB Robotics’ 1,300-strong workforce in the region. It will encompass a new factory, office spaces, a research and development center, an experience center, and a training center for customers and visitors. Notably, the new factory will incorporate autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to streamline the movement of materials and products between the warehouse, assembly stations, and assembly departments. Construction is slated to commence in 2024, replacing the nine separate buildings that have evolved organically since 1974 to constitute ABB’s robotics operations in Sweden. This transition is set to enhance cross-functional synergies within the organization.

By establishing the Campus in Västerås, ABB is reinforcing the region’s status as an automation cluster. This strategic positioning ensures proximity to customers, suppliers, academia, and partners. It presents a unique opportunity to develop the automation ecosystem while maintaining efficient lead times, reducing transportation distances, and minimizing the carbon footprint.

The construction of the Campus aligns with ABB’s 2030 Sustainability Targets, which include achieving carbon neutrality within the company’s operations. This commitment involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing resource preservation. Consequently, careful consideration will be given to the selection of building materials and construction processes, and the incorporation of solar panels on the roof to harness renewable energy sources.

by: Bill Parson

by: Bill Parson

Bill is an accomplished editor with a passion for robotics and emerging technologies. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for concise communication, he plays a pivotal role in developing and publishing content for SimplyBots. His deep interest in the field of robotics stems from his fascination with the potential of intelligent machines to transform various aspects of our lives.

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