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ABB Robotics and HASCO, a leading automotive parts supplier in China, created a joint venture around smart manufacturing for China’s automotive industry. The joint venture will build on an existing relationship between the two companies.
The partnership between ABB Robotics and HASCO, which includes a 40% stake by ABB in the joint venture, will expand the use of smart technologies and artificial intelligence within the industry. Both companies agreed not to disclose any further details about the investment.
“With the automotive industry facing its greatest transformation since its inception and sales of electric vehicles set to overtake combustion vehicles in many parts of the world by 2035, there is a clear need to support the transition of the industry,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation. “This joint venture will enable us to further develop HASCO’s leading position with automated solutions that benefit customers in China which – as one of the largest automotive manufacturing marketplaces – will play a pivotal role in delivering a sustainable transport future.”
The joint venture is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022. It will build on the expertise and manufacturing experience of both partners to increase efficiency within the auto parts industry. Customers in a range of industries, from vehicle body to chassis systems, power and battery electronics to e-drive systems, will benefit from new, efficient and environmentally-sustainable manufacturing methods.
In 2022, ABB will open an advanced robotics factory in Shanghai, hosting an onsite research and development center, accelerating innovations in product development, artificial intelligence, and customer collaboration on automation solutions.
China recently released a five-year plan for robotics. The document laid out several smaller goals for the Chinese robotics industry before 2025, but the overarching goal is to make China a key source of global robotics innovation. Even if many of the goals in the plan are not entirely new and might not be reached in time, both robotics companies and policy makers outside of China need to take the challenge from China’s robotics industry seriously.