NEW SCANIA BATTERY-ASSEMBLY PLANT GETS ABB ROBOTICS

By: Fabian CotterPhotography by: courtesy Scania Europe


CHARGING SPECIALIST ABB has entered into an agreement with Scania Europe to provide a comprehensive range of robotic solutions for the bus and truck maker’s new 18,000m2 highly automated battery assembly plant in Sweden, the companies announced recently.

Head of Scania’s battery assembly Tony Persson, said: “The factory is designed in line with Scania’s efforts to be at the forefront of industrial digitalization, automation, and the use of advanced robotic technology to streamline production processes with increased flexibility. That is where the robots and solutions from ABB fit in. ”

The new facility will be a key milestone on Scania’s journey towards the electrification of heavy vehicles, they explain. Scania will invest more than SEK 1 billion ($ 108 million) in the facility over several years and the new Södertälje plant is expected to be fully operational by 2023, they add.

The advanced facility will be built next to Scania’s chassis assembly plant in Södertälje, Sweden, and will be highly automated, from goods reception through production to delivery, ABB says. It will assemble battery modules from cells supplied by Northvolt’s battery factory in Skellefteå, with the completed packs delivered directly to the vehicle assembly hall, it adds.

Multiple ABB robots will be involved in the assembly process, including the IRB 390, IRB 4600 and IRB 6700 models, along with additional solutions to support the production process, ABB confirms.

This will mark the first time ABB’s IRB 390 robot will be used in a battery production facility, it says. Originally designed for the packing industry, the robot combines speed with power and can mount contact plates in batteries at a rate of one plate every second, twenty-four hours a day, the company states.

ABB’s RobotStudio simulation and programming software will enable full verification of the production line prior to deployment, which will significantly shorten lead times and support the quality process, it explains.

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WHOLESALE CHANGES

“We are delighted to work with one of our longest-standing customers to help deliver their electrification roadmap,” said ABB Robotics’ automotive business line managing director, Joerg Reger.

“The automotive industry has always been at the forefront of automation. But with the shift to electrification, it faces wholesale changes to established manufacturing processes.

“With our expertise, we will design and help implement the manufacturing flexibility that is vital for market leaders such as Scania in delivering this change,” Reger said.

Head of Scania’s battery assembly Tony Persson, said: “The factory is designed in line with Scania’s efforts to be at the forefront of industrial digitalization, automation, and the use of advanced robotic technology to streamline production processes with increased flexibility. That is where the robots and solutions from ABB fit in. “

“For Scania, the factory is also an investment that will further strengthen Sweden’s position as a hub for cutting-edge technology in the electrification of heavy vehicles, which is crucial in the transition to sustainable transport,” Persson said.

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SOLID PARTNERSHIP

Scania and ABB have been working in partnership for more than four decades and are collaborating on building production infrastructure for electric vehicles, they state. Recently, they joined forces to create charging solutions for heavy goods vehicles that will also be powered by batteries manufactured by Northvolt.

The Northvolt facility – Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory – has also been developed in partnership with ABB, they clarify.

ABB is assisting automotive companies and key component and technology suppliers globally with fast, efficient, and flexible manufacturing solutions to support the roll-out of a new generation of electrified powertrains, it says.

The company recently announced a major joint venture with China’s leading automotive parts supplier HASCO to help steer the next generation of smart manufacturing with highly efficient, environmentally ‘sustainable’ automation solutions, it states.

Later this year, it will also open the world’s most advanced robotics factory in Shanghai, accelerating innovations in product development, artificial intelligence, and automation solutions, ABB adds.

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ABOUT ABB

ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future, it explains.

By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB “pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels,” it says.

With a history of excellence stretching more than 130 years ago, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in more than 100 countries, it adds.

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