SHANGHAI: ABB, the world's leading power and automation technology group based in Switzerland, yesterday began production of its latest robot in China, after it relocated its global robotics headquarters to Shanghai in April last year.
ABB has received 15 initial orders for the new robots from China and countries such as South Korea and Australia. The robots can be used in the automotive, electronics, consumer products, foundry and food industries.
"We will continue to expand our operation in the China market and will double the production capacity here this year," said Per Vegard Nerseth, head of ABB's Robotics Division, China. "The total capacity in China will amount to 2,000 units this year after the production expansion," he said.
The new robots, described by ABB as "an effective way to improve quality and reduce cost", will mostly sell in the Asia-Pacific region. Most of them will be used in the auto industry, according to Jeffery Zhou, sales and marketing manager at the division.
"The new production line for the robots can greatly shorten delivery time and provide technical support and quick response," said Nerseth.
ABB's revenue in 2006 was $1.3 billion, of which 50 percent was from Europe, 35 percent from South America, and only 15 percent from Asia. "China is currently fairly small in our total revenue, but it will have a rapid growth," said Nerseth.
He said the Chinese robots market is growing at a speed of more than 40 percent annually, and ABB will "follow it".
ABB is currently the only international company manufacturing industrial robotics locally in China. It has sold more than 4,000 robots in China, while its global sales amounted to 150,000 units.
The auto industry is still the largest user of ABB robots. ABB now has many clients in China such as DaimlerChrysler, PSA, Honda, Geely and Great Wall.
ABB established corporate research and development centers in Beijing and Shanghai in April 2005, focusing on robotic technology and customized applications.
Source: China Daily