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ABB says it recycles and ‘re-manufactures’ thousands of old robots

ABB says it recycles and “re-manufactures” thousands of old robots to make the manufacturing sector “more sustainable”. (See video below.)

The company says re-manufactured robots help customers “unlock new functionalities and advanced services” while reducing maintenance costs and maximizing return on investment.

ABB sources unused and discontinued robots for re-manufacturing to ensure “older robots avoid being scrapped when their lifetime could be extended”.

As sustainability continues to grow in importance globally, ABB is committed to help create more environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities across the world.

Re-manufacturing enables existing robot users to sell inactive or legacy robots to ABB with an attractive buy back service, rather than scrapping them or leaving them unused in a corner of the factory.

Over the last 25 years, thousands of robots have been refurbished and upgraded by ABB’s re-manufactured robot teams, to give them a second life.

As well as previously owned robots, peripheral equipment such as controllers and manipulators are refurbished to “like-new” conditions at one of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers.

Before being labelled as an ABB-certified re-manufactured robot, every second-hand unit undergoes rigorous checks, including a detailed inspection and a minimum 16-hour functioning test.

Each re-manufactured robot comes with a two-year warranty and buyers of refurbished equipment enjoy the same level of support from local service teams, including installation and training, as they would with the purchase of a new ABB robot.

Jan Borsky, sales manager of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers, says: “Unlike third-party refurbishes who only fix faulty parts, we completely re-manufacture our robots using original ABB design plans, specifications and dimensional data.

“This guarantees that the robots offer the same levels of quality, performance, durability and safety as a new ABB robot.

“We have one of the largest inventories of pre-owned and reconditioned robots across the world, with 400 robots of various types in stock for sale, and currently the demand for second life robots is so high that we have more than one robot leaving our Ostrava facility every working day.”

Each re-manufactured robot can also be upgraded to the latest controller, which unlocks new functionalities such as ABB Ability Connected services or the latest version of RobotStudio, ABB’s simulation and offline programming software.

Upgrades can also unlock the potential of collaborative robotics, with ABB’s SafeMove software providing businesses with the opportunity to enable robots to work alongside operators without the need for extensive guarding, which helps to cut both the cost of an installation and the overall footprint, ideal for locations where space is at a premium.

Borsky says: “Customers across the world are benefiting from giving old robots a new lease of life. Updating their robots with the latest technologies has helped boost flexibility and productivity, and by extending the lifetime of their robots, has helped maximize their return on investment.

“We’ve also helped existing robot customers who wanted to add additional robots to their existing production line but found that the specific model they needed had been discontinued. We sourced and installed a re-manufactured model, so the business could continue to benefit from long-term efficiencies in maintenance, spare parts and staff training.”

ABB’s network of global re-manufacturing facilities includes centers in Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Auburn Hills in Michigan and Shanghai in China, as well as local re-manufacturing service centers in Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Vietnam.

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