ABB recently announced an investment of nearly 264 million euros to expand its manufacturing footprint in Europe and build a new, state-of-the-art European robotics campus in Västerås, Sweden.
The campus will be the hub of ABB Robotics' offering in Europe: customers will have access to AI-based industrial and collaborative robots, as well as digital solutions facilitating the implementation of flexible automation systems, as part of the company's "local for local" production strategy. Intended to replace the existing robotics facilities on the site, the new campus is scheduled to open at the end of 2026.
"This investment in our new campus is driven by customer demand and market growth forecasts, explains ABB CEO Björn Rosengren. Our new Swedish plant, which follows major investments in China and the USA, will strengthen our ability to serve our customers in Europe with locally manufactured products in a growing market. Already today, around 95 % of the robots sold by ABB in the region are manufactured here. This is a very strong commitment to our 'local for local' strategy, but also to all our robotics customers in Europe."
According to the company, ABB's investment in the Västerås robotics campus confirms its leadership in robotics and automation worldwide. ABB will increase its production capacity by 50 % and develop its ability to supply the European market, which is expected to grow by 7 % (CAGR) by 2027.1 . Once the campus is completed, ABB will have invested €424 million in its three robotics facilities since 2018, including the Shanghai mega-plant supplying customers in Asia and the dedicated Auburn Hills site in the USA.
"It's the right time to invest in robotics and automation. This new campus is an important part of our global growth strategy. It is even essential if we are to keep pace with our European customers, who are multiplying their investments in robotics and AI due to the relocation of industry, the transition to more sustainable supply chains and long-term labor shortages, explains Sami Atiya, President of the Robotics & Discrete Automation business. Our robotics campus will help us to serve our customers more effectively, and to support old and new sectors such as automotive, electronics, logistics, healthcare, ecommerce and pharmaceuticals, to realize the full potential of automation."
The ABB Group has a number of global centers of excellence across Europe, particularly in France, focusing on the challenges of mobility, sustainable energy and robotics.
The new campus will enable ABB to work more closely with customers and partners to develop automation and robotics solutions in a safe and functional environment. Customers, for their part, will be able to test their solutions and experience the latest automation innovations on site.
"In our new R&D center, we are focusing on developing new digital and AI-based technologies. Our goal will be to make robots increasingly accessible while lowering the barriers to entry for applications in all sectors."explains Marc Segura, President of ABB Robotics.
The 65,000 m2 campus will provide a state-of-the-art workspace for ABB Robotics' 1,300 employees, and will include a new factory, offices, a research and development center, a center for experiments, and a training center for customers and visitors. The new plant will also feature autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), essential for transporting materials and products between the warehouse and assembly stations. Scheduled to start construction in 2024, the new plant will replace the nine separate buildings that have grown organically since 1974 and currently form the core of robotic operations in Sweden. This will enable cross-functional synergies to be strengthened.
1. Number of shipments. Source: Interact Analysis