Swiss engineering group ABB is investing $280m to build a new robotics factory in Sweden to strengthen its European business following investments in China and the US, the company said in a statement on Wednesday (13 Sept).

ABB plans to build the new Robotics European Campus in Västerås, Sweden, replacing existing facilities at the site.

The campus will serve as the hub for ABB Robotics in Europe to support the company’s “local for local” production strategy. The new campus is scheduled to open in late 2026.

“Following important investments in China and the US, the new facility in Sweden will strengthen our capabilities in serving our customers in Europe with locally manufactured products in a growing market,” said ABB CEO Björn Rosengren.

ABB will expand production capacity by 50% and strengthen its footing in the European market, which is expected to grow at 7% CAGR through 2027.

“This new campus is a significant part of our global growth story and key in supporting our European customers as they accelerate investment in robotics and AI due to the reshoring of industry, the move to more sustainable supply chains and long-term labour shortages,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics & discrete automation business area.

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By GlobalData

The construction is planned to start in 2024 and will replace the nine separate buildings that currently constitute the robotics operations in Sweden.

GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Robotics (2023) report found that companies leading in robotics patents within the past five years are based in China, the US, Japan, and South Korea.

No European companies currently feature in the top ten patent assignees. Chinese technology company DJI holds the largest number of robotics patent publications, with South Korea’s LG coming in second.

The move towards self-sufficiency and domestic production, following the supply chain bottlenecks of the COVID-19 pandemic and escalating tensions between the US and China on technology, has prompted some companies to reconsider their logistics and move production.

The European Union relaxed state aid funding approval under a temporary crisis scheme in 2022 to protect economies from the war in Ukraine by supporting investments.

This complimented Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and the Chips and Science Act which, together, supplied $400bn in tax credits, subsidies and loans, to encourage self-sufficiency and provide economic stimulus to the tech sector.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.