ABB is investing $150 million in Shanghai, China to build an automated and flexible robotics factory; where robots make robots. The factory is expected to begin operating by the end of 2020.

The Kangqiao manufacturing center, near ABB’s China robotics campus, will combine the company’s connected digital technologies, including ABB Ability solutions, collaborative robotics and artificial intelligence research.

In 2017, one of every three robots sold in the world went to China, which purchased nearly 138,000 units, said ABB in a statement. The company employs approximately 5,000 people in Shanghai, and the company’s robotics businesses in China employ more than 2,000 engineers, technology experts and operational leaders in 20 locations across the country. ABB has invested more than $2.4 billion in China since 1992, with over 18,000 employees in total.

“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 Shanghai factory will be modeled as a digital twin, which will provide tailored dashboards for management, engineers, operators and maintenance experts.

In another development, ABB and the Shanghai municipal government has signed a strategic cooperation agreement focused on supporting industry, energy, transport and infrastructure in the region, and to support the “Made in Shanghai” manufacturing initiative. The agreement was signed by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong and ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.

[Image courtesy: ABB]