Home > ABB wins $52 million robots order to boost manufacturing flexibility at Ford’s newest China factory

ABB wins $52 million robots order to boost manufacturing flexibility at Ford’s newest China factory

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article image ABB supplies industrial robot technologies for the entire automobile production process

World-leading power and automation technology group, ABB has won a $52 million order to supply robots to Changan Ford’s new production facility in Harbin, China. ABB’s industrial robots have been used successfully in Changan Ford's major automobile production facilities across China since 2007.

ABB’s robots are expected to boost the flexibility and efficiency of the manufacturing facility and will be used to make Ford’s new Focus model. ABB robots including the IRB 6700 and IRB 7600 will be supplied for Changan Ford’s new highly-automated Body-in-White (BIW) welding production line.

The order also includes ABB’s GateFramer car body framing positioning system, capable of producing up to six vehicle models on the same line, with just 18 seconds needed to switch to a different model.

The introduction of ABB robots into the production line at the new Changan Ford plant will boost the carmaker’s flexible manufacturing capabilities, allowing it to respond swiftly to changing consumer demand while simultaneously reducing investment costs compared to traditional production lines. The ABB-Changan Ford partnership began in 2007, with ABB robots producing the joint venture’s Ford Mondeos at manufacturing plants in Chongqing.

Pekka Tiitinen, President of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division explains that ABB’s solid reputation for providing outstanding and reliable technology and excellent project management capabilities has once again been recognised by their customer. He added that ABB’s flexible, intelligent manufacturing technologies help customers effectively reduce investment costs, enhance productivity, and respond to market needs in a timely fashion.

A new generation of large industrial robots, the IRB 6700 robot family was introduced to the market in 2013. Offering more robustness and 15% more energy efficiency than its predecessor, the IRB 6700 is simple to maintain, making it the highest performing robot for the lowest total cost of ownership in the 150-300 kg class.

ABB will also provide Changan Ford with comprehensive and advanced Body-in-White solutions, including a flexible car body conveying system and laser welding system, as well as the robotic Roller Hemming system, which is used for the production of the vehicle’s four doors and roof.

ABB supplies industrial robot technologies for the entire automobile production process, including stamping, Body-in-White, painting, and powertrains. Automobile customers include international automakers such as BMW, Honda, Volvo and Great Wall Automobile.

A leading supplier of industrial robots, ABB Robotics also provides robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletising and machine tending.

ABB has installed more than 250,000 robots worldwide in key markets including automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. 

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