Digital technology company ABB has invested $280 million to build a new robotics campus in Västerås, Sweden.
ABB offers robotics solutions to four key applications in the food and beverage industry: packaging, picking, palletising, handling and processing.
The campus will serve as the hub for ABB Robotics’ European operations, offering customers “AI-enabled” collaborative and industrial robots, along with digital solutions designed to facilitate flexible automation.
According to the company, the new facility will replace the nine separate buildings “that have grown organically since 1974 and currently constitute the robotics operations in Sweden”.
Spanning 65,000 square metres, the campus will serve as a contemporary workspace for ABB Robotics’ workforce of 1,300 in the area. It will include a new facility, offices, a R&D hub, an experiential centre and a training venue designed for both customers and visitors. In addition, the site will feature autonomous mobile robots as a key element in transporting materials and products among the warehouse, assembly stations and assembly departments.
Björn Rosengren, ABB CEO, said: “The investment in our new campus is driven by customer demand and projected market growth. Following important investments in China and the US, the new facility in Sweden will strengthen our capabilities in serving our customers in Europe with locally manufactured products in a growing market.”
He continued: “Already today, around 95% of the robots ABB sells in the region are manufactured here. This is a strong commitment not only to our “local for local” strategy, but to all our robotics customers across Europe.”
The investment is expected to enhance ABB’s robotics and automation leadership globally. This move will see ABB expand its production capacity by 50% and boost its ability to serve the European market. Once completed, ABB said the company will have committed a total investment of $450 million in its three robotics facilities since 2018, including its Shanghai mega factory that supplies customers in the Asian market and the Auburn Hills site catering to the Americas.
The campus will foster close collaboration with customers and partners to co-create robotics and automation solutions within a secure and operational setting. Customers will have the opportunity to test and experiment with their solutions using the ABB’s latest automation advancements on-site.
Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics & discrete automation business area, commented: “This is a great time to invest in robotics and automation. This new campus is a significant part of our global growth story and key in supporting our European customers as they accelerate investment in robotics and AI due to the reshoring of industry, the move to more sustainable supply chains and long-term labour shortages.”
“Our Robotics Campus will help us to serve our customers more efficiently and support new and existing sectors like automotive, electronics, logistics, healthcare, e-commerce and pharmaceuticals to unlock the full potential of automation.”
In addition, the campus will provide an opportunity “to develop the ecosystem while maintaining rapid lead times, with shorter transports and a reduced carbon footprint,” said ABB. The hub will align with ABB’s 2030 sustainability targets, focusing on achieving carbon neutrality in its operations through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increasing preservation of resources.
Marc Segura, president of ABB Robotics, added: “Our new, sustainable facility in Sweden will be located at the cradle of ABB Robotics’ global innovation, starting with ABB’s development of the world’s first commercial all-electric robot nearly 50 years ago. In our new R&D centre, we are focusing on the development of new digital and AI-enabled technologies, making robots increasingly accessible while lowering the entry barrier for applications in all industries.”
Construction is scheduled to start next year, and the campus is anticipated to open in late 2026.
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