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The industrial robot

ABB pioneered the world’s first industrial paint robot and the world’s first all-electric microprocessor- controlled robot in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

To this day, ABB remains a market and technology leader in robotics with more than 250,000 robots sold to customers all over the world – one of the largest installed base in the industry. The impact of these robots on manufacturing processes and industrial productivity has been revolutionary. Their ability to achieve huge increases in output and process quality - and similarly huge reductions in downtime, operating costs and manpower - have made them indispensable to industrial production.

ABB robots play a significant role in our daily lives: hardly a moment goes by without our using a product that was manufactured or handled by an ABB robot. For instance, ABB robots pick, pack and palletize our food and beverages for companies like Nestlé, Unilever and Cadbury. They carve, sand, finish, paint and package the furniture and flooring in our homes for two of the biggest names in the business – Ikea and Tarkett; and they weld, grind, polish and paint our PCs, laptops, iPods, mobile phones, cameras and game consoles for the world’s leading brands and manufacturers – Apple, Dell, Foxconn, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Nokia and many more.

They make the solar panels on our roofs, the glassware on our tables, building materials for our homes, the ceramics in our bathrooms, and the cookers, dishwashers, plastic containers, wood cupboards and metal sinks in our kitchens. When we are ill, the tablets and other medications we take are picked, packed and palletized by ABB robots for companies like AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough. They are even being used in hospitals to help with physiotherapy sessions.

Above all, ABB robots make the cars, buses and trucks that we drive. Most auto makers and their suppliers use ABB robotics solutions for some or all of their manufacturing processes – in powertrain assembly, press automation, body-in-white and painting the final product. In fact ABB robots not only boost industrial productivity, they can also achieve a massive improvement in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions. The FlexPainter IRB 5500 paint robot, for instance, has reduced paint shop energy consumption by 50 percent at automotive factories all over the world.

Paint shops consume vast amounts of electrical energy, typically about half the total power consumption of an entire automotive plant. Not surprisingly, the FlexPainter paint robot has had an immediate impact on the auto industry, taking a 30 percent market share within 18 months of its introduction in 2006.

Revolutionizing the workplace

ABB robots have also benefited health and safety by dramatically elevating the nature of work and improving working conditions for employees. Robots have eliminated monotonous and dangerous tasks like lifting and carrying heavy objects and have reduced labor turnover and raised job satisfaction in many workplaces that are dangerous, dull or dirty.

With robotics manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe and North America, ABB solutions include robots and controllers, application equipment and software, standardized modular manufacturing cells, and global service and support.
In 1974, Magnusson AB became Asea’s first external robotics customer.

Safe, collaborative and precise: YuMi is set to usher in a new era of small-parts assembly, working on the same lines as its human coworkers without need for protective fences

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