ABB, a Swiss engineering and technology group, has announced that it will be investing $280 million in a new robotics factory in Sweden. The decision comes in response to growing demand from customers who are moving their production from Asia closer to their home markets.
The new factory, which will be located in Vasteras, eastern Sweden, is set to open in 2026. It will have 50% more production capacity than the company’s previous site and will employ 1,300 people. ABB CEO Björn Rosengren stated that the investment is driven by customer demand and projected market growth.
According to ABB, the European robotics and automation market is expected to grow by 7% per year between 2023 and the end of 2027. This growth is largely attributed to companies bringing back production from Asia. ABB competes with companies such as Fanuc Corp from Japan and Kuka from China in supplying robots to companies including BMW, Scania, and Volkswagen.
The decision to invest in the new factory is also influenced by government incentives and geopolitical factors. The European Union has relaxed state aid rules, allowing national governments to match subsidies offered under President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act in the United States. Additionally, rising tensions between Washington and Beijing have led some companies to reconsider their manufacturing footprint and bring factories closer to home.
Furthermore, ABB aims to serve its customers by offering more locally manufactured products, following supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to addressing supply chain bottlenecks, customers are investing in robots to combat shortages in skilled labor.
Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation Business Area, highlights the significance of the new campus in supporting European customers. The Robotics Campus will enhance efficiency and support various sectors such as automotive, electronics, logistics, healthcare, e-commerce, and pharmaceuticals in unlocking the full potential of automation.