Robots and humans take intelligent manufacturing to the next level

May 22, 2024

The investment in intelligent manufacturing at ABB China’s Xiamen switchgear and grid components facility, which has increased production levels and reduced delivery times for customers, has been awarded Level IV certification from the country’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology (MIIT).

The first electrical equipment manufacturer to be awarded the highest-level certification from the CMMM® (China Manufacturing Maturity Model), ABB Xiamen Switchgear Co., Ltd. had to demonstrate ‘intelligent’ competency across 18 different areas of operations. Each area, from personnel to design, manufacturing, service, integration, and data applications, was ranked by a third-party IT expert. To date, only 52 companies have achieved CMMM® Level IV in China.

Commenting on the recognition, James Zhao, senior vice president of ABB (China) Ltd said:

“Digitalization and intelligent manufacturing are key to creating an efficient and robust modern industrial system. Our investment has been so effective that we have been able to shorten production and lead times for our customers and further improve product quality. It has also improved our delivery times by over 50 percent and helped reduce our energy consumption per 10kCNY revenue by circa 30 percent. When humans and robots collaborate, great things happen.”

ABB China first launched the intelligent manufacturing program in 2018 at ABB Xiamen Hub, which covers 425,000 m2 and employs over 3,000 people. Since then, ABB Xiamen Switchgear Co., Ltd, which predominantly makes switchgear and circuit breakers, has implemented several state-of-the-art technologies. This includes a flexible product line using robots for auto-assembly, an automatic warehouse system for intelligent distribution, robot-guided vehicles in the warehouse and a welding robot. This combination of robots, automated processes, and digital tools enhances process quality, safety, and efficiency to optimize operations and increase customer satisfaction.

The UniGear ZS1 Switchgear Robotic Workstation automates the assembly process of switchgear panels, allowing dozens of materials to be assembled into complete panels without the need for human involvement, bringing switchgear assembly precision, consistency, and quality stability to a new level.

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