ABB to invest $280 million in its European Robotics hub in Sweden

14 September 2023

ABB has unveiled an ambitious $280 million investment plan, signaling a significant expansion of its manufacturing presence in Europe. The cornerstone of this expansion is the creation of a cutting-edge ABB Robotics European Campus in Västerås, Sweden. Designed to serve as the European hub for ABB Robotics, this campus will deliver AI-driven collaborative and industrial robots, along with digital solutions that champion flexible automation as part of the company's "local for local" production strategy. This forward-looking endeavor will replace the existing robotics facilities at the site, with plans for its grand opening set for late 2026.

Björn Rosengren, ABB CEO, emphasized the investment's motivation, stating, "The investment in our new Campus is driven by customer demand and projected market growth. Following important investments in China and the U.S., the new facility in Sweden will strengthen our capabilities in serving our customers in Europe with locally manufactured products in a growing market." Notably, approximately 95 percent of the robots sold by ABB in the region are already manufactured locally, underlining the company's unwavering commitment to its "local for local" approach.

This strategic move bolsters ABB's global leadership in robotics and automation, with a 50 percent expansion in production capacity and reinforced capacity to meet the surging European market, which is projected to grow at a compelling seven percent CAGR through 2027. With this new campus, ABB will have invested a total of $450 million in its three robotics facilities since 2018, including its mega factory in Shanghai, serving Asia, and the Auburn Hills facility, catering to the Americas.

Sami Atiya, President of ABB's Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area, elaborated on the significance of this investment, stating, "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 labor shortages."

The ABB Robotics European Campus will foster close collaboration with customers and partners to develop robotics and automation solutions within a safe and innovative environment. It will offer opportunities for testing solutions and experimenting with the latest automation advancements on-site. Moreover, it aims to be an open and vibrant hub for employees, visitors, and students alike.

Marc Segura, President of ABB Robotics, highlighted the Campus's role in nurturing innovation, saying, "In our new R&D center, 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."

Spanning 65,000 square meters, the Campus will house ABB Robotics' workforce of 1,300, featuring a new factory, offices, a research and development center, an experience center, and a training facility for customers and visitors. The new factory will incorporate autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to efficiently transport materials and products between various stations, streamlining operations. Construction is slated to commence in 2024, replacing the nine separate buildings that have organically evolved since 1974 to constitute ABB's current robotics operations in Sweden, thus reinforcing cross-functional synergies.

By establishing the Campus in Västerås, ABB is actively fortifying the region's status as an automation cluster, remaining closely connected to customers, suppliers, academia, and partners. This approach not only reduces lead times but also minimizes transport distances, contributing to a smaller carbon footprint. It further leverages the competencies and capabilities that ABB Robotics in Sweden has cultivated over the past five decades.

In line with ABB's 2030 Sustainability Targets, the Campus will be constructed with an emphasis on sustainability, aiming for carbon neutrality within ABB's operations. This involves careful consideration of building materials, construction processes, and the utilization of solar panels on the roof, all contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.