Swiss engineering and technology group ABB has announced that it will invest $280 million in a new robotics factory in Sweden. The move is in response to growing demand from customers who are shifting their production from Asia to closer to their home markets. The new factory, to be located at ABB’s site in Vasteras, eastern Sweden, is expected to open in 2026 and will have 50% more production capacity than the company’s current site. It will also employ 1,300 people.
ABB’s investment is driven by customer demand and projected market growth, according to CEO Björn Rosengren. The European robotics and automation market is expected to grow by 7% per year between 2023 and the end of 2027, as companies bring back production from Asia. ABB, which competes with companies like Fanuc Corp and Kuka, supplies robots to various manufacturers, including BMW, Scania, and Volkswagen.
Government incentives and geopolitical tensions have contributed to the decision of companies to relocate their manufacturing facilities closer to home. The relaxing of state aid rules by the European Union and the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have also prompted companies to prioritize local manufacturing. In addition, the shortage of skilled labor has led to increased investments in robotics.
ABB’s new robotics factory in Sweden aims to support European customers as they accelerate their investment in robotics and artificial intelligence. The facility will cater to various sectors, including automotive, electronics, logistics, healthcare, e-commerce, and pharmaceuticals.