ABB announced on July 20 of its acquisition of ASTI Mobile Robotics Group (ASTI), a leading global autonomous mobile robot (AMR) manufacturer with a broad portfolio across all major applications. This will expand ABB’s robotics and automation offering, making it the only company to offer a complete portfolio for the next generation of flexible automation.
Highlighting ASTI’s industry-leading portfolio, comprehensive suite of software and deep domain expertise across growth segments, ASTI is the perfect choice for ABB as it supports its customers with the next generation of flexible automation.
Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business, says “With this acquisition, ABB will be the only company to offer a full automation portfolio of AMRs, robots and machine automation solutions, from production to logistics to point of consumption. This is a game changer for our customers as they adapt to the individualized consumer and seize opportunities presented by significant changes in consumer demand.”
AMRs will support an unprecedented degree of flexibility, from production, logistics, intralogistics and fulfillment through to retail and healthcare environments. This will enable ABB’s and ASTI’s common vision to help customers replace today’s linear production lines with fully flexible networks, where intelligent AMRs autonomously navigate materials, parts and finished products between smart connected workstations, in factories, logistics centers, laboratories, shops or hospitals.
These will be integrated with ABB’s portfolio of robots, machine automation, modular solutions and software suite including RobotStudio, ABB Robotics’ simulation and programming tool, creating a unique and comprehensive automation portfolio for ABB’s customers.
ABB and ASTI offer deep domain expertise in manufacturing industries including automotive, food & beverage and consumer packaged goods, as well as in new growth segments including logistics, e-commerce, retail and healthcare.
ABB expects global AMR sales to reach approximately US$14 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of approximately 20 percent, and plans to expand AMR sales and service support globally to 53 countries.
Today’s ASTI’s headquarters in Burgos, Spain will become ABB’s AMR business headquarters, and will be led by Pascual Boé, Among its core functions include R&D, engineering, product and project value chain. ABB will significantly expand production capacity at the AMR business headquarters to support the planned sales expansion in Europe and the Americas. To facilitate the growth potential for AMRs in China and Asia, ABB will also establish an Asia AMR hub, including full value chain and manufacturing, at its new robotics factory, which will open in Shanghai in 2022. As the largest robotics market, China is projected to account for US$1.8 billion of AMR sales annually by 2025.
Signed on July 19, the acquisition, which is a key part of ABB’s external growth strategy is expected to close in mid-summer 2021.