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ABB and SKF increase collaboration on industrial automation

Industrial automation giant ABB and SKF, one of the world’s largest suppliers of bearings, have agreed a partnership to explore the possibilities for a collaboration in the automation of manufacturing processes.

The agreement was signed at ABB’s Robotics Experience Center in Västerås, Sweden, by ABB CEO Björn Rosengren and SKF CEO Rickard Gustafson.

Following the successful delivery of a number of projects in SKF’s global manufacturing network, including in Gothenburg, where a fleet of industrial robots from ABB are installed in the bearing manufacturer’s state-of-the-art factory, the two companies are now taking the next step in their collaboration.

Through the partnership, ABB and SKF will identify and evaluate solutions to improve manufacturing capabilities and support clients’ increased production efficiency. As a first step, SKF’s investments in automation and clean manufacturing processes will act as a testbed, focused on decreasing CO2 emissions from SKF’s operations.

Longer-term, the parties intend to explore new business opportunities in both traditional and new market segments, where both companies bring experiences within a wide range of industries.

Björn Rosengren, CEO of ABB, says: “The demand for automation is increasing, driven by declining working age populations, rising labor costs, and industry’s efforts to create resource-efficient operations in the transition to more sustainable manufacturing.

“I am therefore pleased to announce this deepened partnership alongside SKF, further strengthening our technical leadership.

Rickard Gustafson, president and CEO of SKF, says: “We are increasing the automation of our production facilities in all our regions, in order to stay ahead of our competition and improve our environmental performance.

“This also enables a more flexible and safer working environment. ABB is an important partner for us in this area and we, as two leading industrial companies, will continue to develop innovative solutions to further increase the competitiveness of our customers.”

Recently, the two companies have signed contracts for delivery of specific projects in the field of advanced manufacturing automation, robotic random bin-picking or installations of innovative logistics automation solutions in more complex industrial workshops within SKF’s manufacturing footprint, thus making it possible to see how robots can enable quality assurance of detail management.

Main image: SKF CEO Rickard Gustafson (left) and ABB CEO Björn Rosengren have signed an agreement to explore the possibilities for a collaboration in the automation of manufacturing processes at ABB’s Robotics Experience Center in Västerås, Sweden. Credit: Jonas Bilberg/ABB.

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