ABB signs strategic cooperation agreement with Shanghai government

ABB will build the world’s most advanced robotics factory in Shanghai, supporting Shanghai’s efforts in building a world-leading manufacturing base

ABB and the Shanghai municipal government signed an agreement regarding comprehensive and in-depth strategic cooperation in the fields of industry, energy, transport and infrastructure on October 27, aiming to support Shanghai in speeding up its construction of a global science and technology innovation center and driving the "Made in Shanghai" initiative. Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong attended the signing ceremony and had a cordial meeting with Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, Chunyuan Gu, President of Region Asia, Middle East and Africa and ZZ Zhang, President of ABB China. Vice Mayor Wu Qing, Secretary-General Tang Zhiping, Chen Mingbo, Wu Lei and other officials from Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization attended the meeting. Deputy Secretary-General Ma Chunlei hosted the ceremony.

As an important part of the strategic cooperation and building on its significant, long-time presence in China, ABB announced that it will invest US$150 million (about 1 billion yuan) to build the world’s most advanced robotics factory at Kangqiao, Shanghai, to expand production capacity, increase efficiency, strengthen its #1 position in robotics in China and better meet surging customer demand. The factory, covering an area of 60,000 square meters and just over one kilometer from ABB’s expansive China robotics campus, is scheduled to begin operating by the end of 2020, creating the most sophisticated “factory of the future”. Also being ABB’s largest R&D, production and application base of robotics in China, it is expected to strongly support the development of high-end manufacturing in Shanghai and across China.

The new Shanghai factory will employ a number of machine learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it one of the most advanced, automated and flexible factories in the robotics industry, and an onsite R&D center will help accelerate innovations in artificial intelligence. The entire new factory will be modeled as a digital twin and be fully connected to the industrial Internet. It will also adopt ABB’s new design approach to its robotics portfolio, which uses configurable, common interfaces and building blocks that can be combined in nearly infinite ways into unique solutions, stepping towards a fully digitalized "factory of the future".

Ying Yong, Shanghai Mayor, said at the meeting that Shanghai is speeding up the establishment of a modern industrial system. It will be dominated by modern service industry, led by strategic emerging industries and supported by advanced manufacturing industries, with a focus on building a national highland for artificial intelligence. We welcome ABB group to continue expanding its investment and to deploy more functions in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Shanghai will continue to create a better business environment and develop together with the outstanding enterprises including ABB.

"ABB is a witness, participant and beneficiary of China's reform and opening-up," said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB. "Over the past 40 years, ABB has been taking on responsibilities and growing together with Shanghai, which has been and continues to be at the forefront as a vital, global business center. The signing of this MoU is a milestone in ABB's development in Shanghai, creating new space for future cooperation in scientific and technological innovation. Taking this opportunity, ABB will actively develop more technologies and solutions in digital, industrial Internet and artificial intelligence, and make contributions to the advancement of Shanghai's high-end equipment manufacturing industry, the construction of a science and technology innovation center, and the promotion of the city's growth level and core competitiveness."

The agreement also identifies key areas of future cooperation between ABB and Shanghai, including smart manufacturing, smart transportation, smart city, new energy development as well as the marine and ports industry. ABB will take advantage of its innovative technologies, which cover the whole value chain of industrial automation as well as its leading ABB AbilityTM digital solutions, to forge industrial cooperation with Shanghai’s local enterprises to upgrade the level of automation, flexibility and intelligence. It will utilize its rich resources and experience in urban informatization, smart power distribution, smart community and electrical security, to support Shanghai in building a smart city and enable safe and efficient connectivity. Relying on its advanced technology in clean energy such as wind and solar, it will also help Shanghai improve the utilization of green energy, integrated energy services and digital operation of energy assets.

In the fields of transport and infrastructure, ABB will support the rapid development of new energy vehicles (EV) and the construction of a green charging ecosystem in Shanghai with its technical advantages in EV charging, renewables, energy storage and micro grid. In addition, ABB will serve the shipbuilding and port construction enterprises in Shanghai with its leading products, systems and solutions in the marine and ports industry, jointly developing digital ships and intelligent ports to support Shanghai in building an international shipping center.

Shanghai is an important base for ABB's development in China. In 1994, ABB established its first joint venture in Shanghai. Now, ABB has one branch office, seven local enterprises and ten global business centers in Shanghai which provide comprehensive support for ABB's business development locally and globally. There are up to 5,000 employees in Shanghai, the largest number for ABB around the world. The company has invested more than US$2.4 billion in China since 1992.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the International Business Leaders' Advisory Council (IBLAC) for the Mayor of Shanghai. At this year’s council, ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer will host group discussions in his new role as Vice Chairman of IBLAC and discuss ideas and suggestions with other international enterprise leaders about how Shanghai can become a hub of the Belt and Road Initiative. Since joining the council in 2005, ABB has been committed to using its industry expertise and global resources to contribute to Shanghai's economic and social development and to building Shanghai into an even stronger modern international metropolis.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 18,000 employees located in 142 cities, 40 local companies, and online and offline channels across over 300 cities.

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