250,000 robots sold in 40 years – collaboration makes it possible

ABB Robotics North American Technology Days: Three days, 50 robots, and more than 1,000 attendees.

This week ABB Robotics is hosting its 11th annual North American Value Provider Conference and Technology Days open house at our North American Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It’s an event spread over three days that features more than 50 robots of every type we sell under one roof demonstrating their capabilities. From picking and packing products, to painting, to welding and cutting, this is truly an astounding venue for our partners, customers and the public to dig their teeth into what makes ABB Robotics tick.

This year the event also comes at a time when ABB is celebrating several milestones, including an incredible 40 years of delivering modern industrial robotics systems as well as selling our 250,000th robot. In fact, it seems like it was only a bit more than a year ago that we were celebrating our 200,000th robot ever sold–actually, it was only a bit more than a year ago that we did that.

Things are clearly accelerating in the world of robotics, with new companies getting into the game all the time. And why not? Robotics is the future–and that’s not even a bit of hyperbole.

At this week’s event, the Head of ABB Robotics, Per Vegard Nerseth opened up the ceremonies with some thoughts on how the robotics industry looks like it is headed into a spectacular next several years.

“The focus around the industry is increasing all the time,” said Nerseth. “In the past we used to see that only trade media was interested in covering the industry, but now we are also seeing a change in the types of media outlets that are interested in it, including major news organizations around the world. This is a reflection of how people are more and more interested in understanding that robots will be an important and common part of our future.”

“We are on the verge of an explosion,” he continued. “Before long we will see the number of robots being sold around the world increasing at a previously unheard of pace. We are very proud to have been in the business for 40 years and are looking forward to actively driving the future of the robotics industry over the next 40 years.”

Indeed, in 1974 ABB sold the world’s first microprocessor-controlled, electrically-driven industrial robot for commercial usage. Those four robots are still in the same factory in Sweden doing the same thing they’ve been doing for the last 40 years. It’s an amazing testament to our robot quality, but beyond that it highlights one important thing: We couldn’t have done any of this without collaborating with our customers and partners.

It is this collaboration that makes working in this industry, and working with ABB Robotics, quite special and unique in the world. We may be a global corporation able to deliver global solutions, but our customers and partners also know that we remain accessible and friendly on a local level–just like family.

So, if you’re in town this week, or are already attending the event, please stop by and say hi. We love to hear your stories–as well as tell them–so that we can learn what you need and work better together.

Even if you aren’t a robotics customer or a partner of ours, on Friday we will have an open house for the public, and it’s usually full of schoolchildren (and schoolchildren at heart) who just want to get a rare glimpse at the world of industrial robots.

Check out a flyover video of the event from last year to get an idea of its scope.

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About the author

Anne Waltenberger

I joined ABB Robotics Marketing Communications team in 2005 and have become passionate about both Robotics and Communications. I think I have the best job in the world. Being the Global Communications Manager for the most exciting product ABB has to offer and working with so many talented and skilled people from all over the world is a true pleasure. I have a degree in Linguistics, Psychology and Literature and benefit from them when trying to explain why robots can help to make this a better world.
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