SKF and ABB have entered into a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibilities for a collaboration in the automation of manufacturing processes. The understanding was signed at ABB's Robotics Experience Center in Västerås, Sweden, by SKF CEO Rickard Gustafson and ABB CEO Björn Rosengren.
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.
Gothenburg, Sweden-based SKF said it has expertise in designing and manufacturing bearings, seals, and lubrication systems. The company has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and was founded in 1901. SKF said it is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide.
ABB makes a range of products and services including manufacturing robotics systems. It was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.
A focus on cutting CO2 emissions
Through the partnership, SKF and ABB said they 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.
“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,” said Gustafson.
“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,” said Björn Rosengren, CEO of ABB. “I am therefore pleased to announce this deepened partnership alongside SKF, further strengthening our technical leadership.”
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.
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