• An artist's impression of ABB's new Shanghai factory.
    An artist's impression of ABB's new Shanghai factory.
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Robotics manufacturer ABB has announced plans to build a US$150 million (AU$211 million) factory in Shanghai.

The Kangqiao facility is expected to come online by the end of 2020, and according to ABB, will see “robots making robots” in a high-tech factory combining digital technologies including collaborative robotics and artificial intelligence solutions.

“The concept behind this factory is the same advice we give our customers every day: invest in automation solutions that provide flexibility and agility to grow in whichever direction the market goes,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics and Motion division.

“ABB is proud to help our customers in China and around the world with solutions that take full advantage of the latest technologies to meet the challenges of mass customization, faster cycles and constant change which have become the new normal – even in our own factories.”

China is ABB’s second-largest market, and the company has invested US$2.4 billion into the country since 1992. Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, said he was looking forward to working with Shanghai’s mayor Ying Yong, other community leaders, and its customers.

“China’s commitment to transform its manufacturing is a torchlight for the rest of the world,” said Spiesshofer. “Its strategic embrace of the latest technologies for artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and cloud-based computing present a playbook for every country that wishes to have a globally competitive manufacturing base.

“Shanghai has become a vital center for advanced technology leadership – for ABB and the world.”

ABB’s robotics businesses already employ more than 18,000 people in 20 locations across China, including 5000 in Shanghai.

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