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October 05, 2010

ABB Opens Robotics Application Center to Increase Productivity

ABB, a power and automation company, has officially opened its ABB’s Robotics Application Center or “RAC” in Singapore.

ABB Robotics is a supplier of industrial robots – also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending.

The first for ABB in Asia, the robotics set-up is a picking, packing and palletizing line, which is an essential process for many growing industries like food and beverage, pharmaceutical production, semiconductor and photovoltaics.

Company officials said that robotics systems offer a high degree of accuracy, hygiene, speed and flexibility.

According to company officials, there is an increasing demand for robotics technology in Singapore and Southeast Asia, as manufacturing lines are pressured to stay cost-competitive, while achieving high standards of productivity and quality.

Robotics technology is also used by many industries for safety and health reasons, as the robots can work in environments that are unpleasant for humans.

“There is a great potential for Singapore to take leadership in packaging and other robotics solutions in Southeast Asia, as we benefit from the presence of high-end manufacturing industries in Singapore, great local and regional companies that support the development of cost-effective systems, and a booming food & beverage industry in Southeast Asia,” said James Foo, president and country manager in Singapore’s ABB, in a statement.

Company officials pointed out that many food and beverage companies in Southeast Asia have reported impressive growth numbers this year, and the fast-developing region of 568 million people offers plenty of demand for food.

With fluctuating energy and raw material prices, robotic automation and software has become essential to reduce costs of end products – production efficiency is increased, optimal energy is utilized, and fewer raw materials are wasted as production methods are more refined, flexible and accurate.According to company officials, ABB, along with the support of system integrators, can benefit from the growth opportunities in the region.

ABB will be seeking out five SME partners to develop robot systems that will help industries like aerospace, pharmaceuticals and food & beverage achieve greater productivity. The RAC will be a space that ABB’s partners can freely utilize to develop new solutions.

"Today, the use of industrial robots is widespread and there are over 1 million operating robots in the world,” said Renny Yeo, honorary president and chairman of SMa Productivity & Innovation Function Committee. “Asia, being one of the emerging regions, is expected to see an increase of nearly 40 percent in the sale of industrial robots. This could be the highest increase across the world. So the bottom-line is ‘If you don’t automate, others will.’”

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for RobotXworld. To read more of Anil’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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