Swiss company ABB plans to expand its industrial robot factory in Auburn Hills, Mich., CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer told Reuters this week. He did not comment on new jobs or investments associated with the expansion.
The facility, which was first announced in 2015, produced its first robot in March and currently employs about 1,000 people.
ABB is relying on demand from automakers and other sectors for industrial robots to drive the company’s growth. U.S. automakers are automating their factories at the levels of those in Japan and Germany, Spiesshofer said, and as more automakers produce electric cars, “the next phase is about portfolio differentiation and expansion.”
Since Spiesshofer took over the CEO role in 2013, the company has engaged in a number of acquisitions and divestitures. Last month, sources claimed ABB and General Electric Co began talks on ABB’s acquiring GE’s industrial solutions business. However, Spiesshofer did not comment on the deal.
The Auburn Hills plant was originally opened so it would manufacture most of the ABB robots and robot controllers to be delivered in North American countries, streamlining the delivery process and reducing wait times for customers.
“Today, we are marking and celebrating the next stage of our commitment and growth in North America with the start of local robot manufacturing in Auburn Hills, U.S.,” Spiesshofer said at the time. “ABB is the first global automation company to open a robot manufacturing facility in the United States. Robotics is a fundamental enabler of the next level of North American industrial growth in an increasingly competitive world. With our continued commitment and investment, our local team is well positioned to support our customers with robotics solutions made in the United States. Our leading technology of web-enabled, collaborative, and safe robots will contribute to job security and quality of work.”
Material from Reuters was used in this report.