Shanghai: ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri), pioneering digital technology company, Saturday announced a major, new US$150 million investment in Shanghai, China to build the world’s most advanced, automated and flexible robotics factory.
"The proposed factory will be - a cutting-edge center where robots will make robots", Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB’s Robotics business, said.
The new Kangqiao manufacturing center, near ABB’s expansive China robotics campus, will combine the company’s connected digital technologies, including ABB Ability solutions, state-of-the-art collaborative robotics and innovative artificial intelligence research to create the most sophisticated and environmentally sustainable “factory of the future.”
The factory is expected to begin operation by the end of 2020.
The new Shanghai factory will feature a number of machine learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robotics industry, and an onsite R&D center will help accelerate innovations in Artificial Intelligence, according to Business Wire.
Using a new, global design approach that ABB announced earlier this year, the factory will be able to dramatically increase both the breadth (type of robots) and depth (variants of each type) of robots that can be made onsite, allowing greater and faster customization to meet the needs of customers.
ABB will also be able to combine this expanded portfolio of robotics into an almost limitless number of tailored solutions.
“The concept behind this factory is the same advice we give our customers every day: invest in automation solutions that provide flexibility and agility to grow in whichever direction the market goes,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Motion division.
"The entire Shanghai factory will be modeled as a digital twin, which will provide intuitively tailored dashboards for management, engineers, operators and maintenance experts to make the best decisions. This includes gathering and analyzing intelligence through ABB Ability Connected Services on the health and performance of ABB robots in the factory to ensure early identification of potential anomalies", he said.
"In addition to avoiding costly downtime, ABB Ability offers advanced digital solutions that can improve performance, reliability and energy usage, as well as providing access to the world’s best platforms, such as the Microsoft Azure enterprise cloud, which is the first international public cloud service operated in China", Sami said.
Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB’s Robotics business, said “There’s a large shift away from looking at factory size and CAPEX investments as the way to meet future demand. The concept behind our new factory is to make the smartest and most flexible use of every meter of production. That comes from combining agile automation solutions with the great capabilities of our people.”
"To aid the move to mass customization in manufacturing and to ensure the highest levels of productivity and flexibility, the new Shanghai factory will make extensive use of ABB’s SafeMove2 software, which allows people and robots to work safely in close proximity", he said.
"In addition, ABB’s YuMi robots will allow close collaboration on many of the small parts assembly tasks needed to manufacture an ABB robot", he added.
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