Business / Industries

ABB eyes growing demand for robots

By LYU CHANG ( Updated: 2015-03-30 17:21

China's future demand for robots and its push for more clean energy will provide more business opportunities for ABB in China, a senior executive of the company said on Friday.

The shortage of labor and increasing operational costs will boost the development of industrial automation, creating increasing demand for robotics, according to Gu Chunyuan, chairman and president in ABB (China) Ltd.

"There is no limit to measure the potential of the robot market, because the automation of China's production plants has just started," he said.

As a pioneer and global leader in robotic technology, the company decided to relocate its global robotics headquarters from Detroit, Michigan, to Shanghai in 2006, indicating a strong focus on China.

China has just 30 robots per 10,000 workers employed in manufacturing industries, leaving huge room for growth over the next decade. An earlier report said that a race by car makers to build plants in China along with wage inflation that has eroded the competitiveness of Chinese labor will more than double the operational stock of industrial robots to 428,000 by 2017.

At the same time, as the country plans to boost its reliance on clean energy to reduce its carbon footprint, the company's business has increased in the offshore wind power and solar power sectors.

ABB, the world's leading power and automation technology group, set a new record in China last year, with both its orders and revenue exceeding $5.8 billion, according to its financial report. Its cumulative investments in China reached about $1.9 billion in 2014, it said.

ABB has accelerated its expansion in central and western China with a focus on the areas including Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. It is also expected to invest in 100 more third and fourth-tier Chinese cities.

In 2014, ABB set up four new comprehensive service centers in China to further understand customer needs, improve service capabilities, and increase customer satisfaction.

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