Robots becoming "smarter, more flexible and tailor-made"

These robots will define the factory of the future, ABB, a global leader in robotics, says at the 20th China International Industry Fair.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Robots are increasingly becoming "smarter, more flexible and tailor-made" to define the factory of the future, a senior executive of ABB's robotics arm said in Shanghai today. 

ABB, a global leader in robotics, displayed its latest digital and collaborative robots that can produce vehicles, electronics, metal and food packaging products at the 20th China International Industry Fair, which opened today in Shanghai. The fair also attracted other robotics makers like Hyundai, Kuka, Fanuc, Nachi and MIR.

“Robots are to become smarter, more flexible and increasingly tailor-made to meet new demand,” said Per Vegard Nerseth, managing director of ABB's Business Unit Robotics.

Smaller firms also need robots in their operations and the Swiss multinational corporation intends to meet their demand.

“Nowadays, companies of smaller scales also need robotics for their manufacturing, so our portfolio is expanding to cover smaller robots that occupy less space and are easier to manage,” Nerseth said, adding that ABB will customize robots for companies in different industries.

At the fair, ABB unveiled its lightest and smaller six-axis robot that's 30 percent more efficient with enhanced technology. It also showed off a single arm YuMi robot that's  more flexible compared with the dual-arm model.

With companies using more robots, they also need a smarter system to coordinate them, Nerseth said. Last year, ABB acquired B&R and developed a SuperTrak  automation system to better integrate the operation of robots and machines.

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