ABB has won an order worth $52 million to boost the flexibility and efficiency of Changan Ford Automobile Co’s new production facility in Harbin, China. The robots will be used to make Ford’s new Focus model.
ABB will provide robots including the IRB 6700 and IRB 7600 for Changan Ford’s new highly-automated “Body in White” welding production line. Included in the order is ABB’s GateFramer car body framing positioning system, capable of producing up to six vehicle models on the same line, with just 18 seconds needed to switch to a different model.
ABB robots at the new Changan Ford plant will bolster the carmaker’s flexible manufacturing allowing it to respond swiftly to changing consumer sentiment and demand while simultaneously reducing investment costs compared to traditional production lines. ABB has worked with Changan Ford since 2007, with ABB robots producing the joint venture’s Ford Mondeos at manufacturing plants in Chongqing.
The IRB 6700 robot family, a new generation of large industrial robots, was introduced to the market in 2013. More robust and 15% more energy efficient than its predecessor, its maintenance has been simplified, making it the highest performing robot for the lowest total cost of ownership in the 150-300 kg class.
ABB also will provide Changan Ford with comprehensive and advanced Body-in-White solutions, including a flexible car body conveying system and laser welding system, as well as the robotic Roller Hemming system which is used for the production of the vehicles’ four doors and roof.
ABB’s industrial robot technologies cover the entire automobile production process, including stamping, Body in White, painting, and powertrains. Automobile customers include international automakers such as BMW, Honda, Volvo and Great Wall Automobile.