ABB robotic technology helps produce China’s 10 millionth vehicle in 2009

ABB advanced robotic production lines empower China to join ranks of automotive powers

Beijing, December 14, 2009 –China’s 10 millionth vehicle in 2009 was recently produced on a First Automotive Group Corporation (FAW) production line powered by ABB welding robots. With this achievement, China has become the third country in the world to surpass an annual output of ten million automotive units following the United States and Japan.

Tormod Gunleiksrud, Head of the ABB Robotics Division, North Asia Region and China, said: "The production of the 10 millionth vehicle in China for 2009 is quite a milestone. ABB is honored to provide FAW with its advanced robotic welding production line to support improved automotive production as well as the production of high-end heavy-duty trucks. In China, our industrial robots are widely deployed in major automobile manufacturing companies, helping boost production strength, quality and efficiency with world-class leading equipment and technologies. We are glad to support the improvement of the overall strength of China’s automotive industry.”

The 10 millionth vehicle off the assembly line in 2009 was a heavy FAW Jiefang J6 truck, produced at the new welding base in China FAW Jiefang Automobile Company. The welding production line features 60 units of ABB industrial robots, covering spot welding, arc welding, stud welding, gluing, handling and more. ABB technology enables automatic welding with over 100 production processes and an annual production capacity up to 100,000 units, allowing for the flexible production of six series of vehicle models. The main welding line has met advanced world standards.

The ABB robotic welding production line at FAW is comprised of three series of ABB robotic products including the IRB 6600, IRB 2400 and IRB 6650. The modular arm design concept of the IRB 6600 Spot Welding Robot permits the adoption of different arm lengths, up to 3.2 meters. IRB 6600 robot’s flexibility and large working scope makes it especially suitable for the body welding operation work for large vehicles such as the J6 heavy-duty truck. The IRB 2400, mainly used in arc welding operations, is the world's most widely used ABB robot due to its high speed, precision, and power. Compared with other robots on the market, it helps users to increase efficiency by more than 25%. In addition, the unit’s durability allows it to adapt to a variety of adverse working conditions with both dust-proof and water-proof properties that meet the IP67 standard. The IRB 6650 is mainly engaged in gluing and handling, with a payload capacity of 200 kg. Its vertical and horizontal operational capabilities make it ideal for a high-density flexible production environment.

In the automotive industry, ABB offers a wide range of leading robotic solutions including white-in-body, powertrain automation, pressing automation, paint process automation and the optimization of the welding process. As key automation equipment in automotive production, ABB industrial robots are widely used in pressing, welding, painting, handling, gluing and other processes for Auto OEMs,and Tier 1. These advanced robotic solutions help to remarkably improve the automation level, productivity and quality of automotive manufacturing, while reducing the rejection rate and upgrading the working conditions of field workers. ABB robots have won extensive acknowledgement from global and domestic auto markers and are widely deployed in a number of leading auto manufacturers in China, including Shanghai GM, Shanghai Volkswagen, Guangzhou Honda, Dongfeng Peugeot, Geely Automobile, and Great Wall Motor Company, contributing to the development of China's auto industry.

As a leader and pioneer in robotic technology, ABB boasts the widest robotic product portfolio, technology, and range of services. To date, ABB has installed more than 160,000 robotic units worldwide making it the leading industrial robotic supplier with the largest installation base worldwide. The China market is integral to ABB’s robotics business. Both of its Global Robotics Business headquarters and R&D Center are located in Shanghai. To date, ABB is the only multinational company to develop and produce industrial robots in China.

The automotive industry is central to the national economy, playing an important role in China’s economic and social development with its extensive industrial chain, strong influence on other industries, high employment numbers and strong effect of stimulating consumer spending. In early 2009, the Plan for Restructuring and Revitalizing the Automotive Industry targeted the production of more than 10 million vehicles in 2009. The goal has been realized with production of the 10 millionth automobile. China has become the third county in the world following the USA and Japan with an annual output of ten million units, reshaping the competitive landscape of the global auto industry.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 15,000 employees, 27 joint ventures and wholly owned companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 60 cities.

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