As automakers prepare for electric and autonomous vehicles, they have an opportunity to add and benefit from automation. ABB Group announced today that it has received an order for 800 industrial robots from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to support production of a new generation of electric vehicles at a VW plant in Hanover, Germany.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is modernizing its Hanover factory and is installing state-of-the-art facilities to build the all-electric ID. Buzz van, which will begin production in 2022. ABB said its robots will be installed in the body shop to undertake a range of body construction tasks.
“We’re excited to extend our long-standing business relationship with Volkswagen by supporting their expansion into e-mobility,” stated Sami Atiya, president of ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation. “ABB’s robotic solutions will provide Volkswagen’s production processes with unprecedented levels of flexibility, to help them adjust to trends and changing customer requirements.”
VW adds automation for efficiency
In addition to robots and application-specific equipment, ABB offers automakers such as VW standardized manufacturing cells and the design, planning, and implementation of complete production lines. The company said its customers can use the ABB Ability platform to benefit from various digital services including process optimization, robot fleet management, and predictive maintenance.
“The dramatic expansion of the EV [electric vehicle] segment requires new and innovative manufacturing solutions,” Atiya said. “With our deep experience in this sector we are helping our automotive customers master this important and strategic transition towards more sustainable transportation.”
This year, ABB has launched a number of new technologies to support automotive manufacturers in increasing productivity and improving their environmental performance, such as its PixelPaint solution for customized automotive painting.
PixelPaint uses an inkjet head to eliminate overspray and ensure that two-tone paint and individual designs are applied in one pass, without masking and de-masking. This can reduce cycle times by around 50% and improve sustainability, with 100% of the paint applied to the bodywork, according to ABB.