ABB Robotic targets large-commerce companies despite the automotive slowdown
ABB is partnering with Silicon Valley start-up Covariant to develop warehouse robotics for large e-commerce companies like Alibaba Group Holding and Amazon.com, as the Zurich-based automation giant seeks revenues outside the weakening car industry.
The new robotic system will be able to pick orders that the warehouses receive autonomously.
On Tuesday, ABB and Covariant said that Bpost Group’s Active Ants provides e-commerce fulfillment services for web business in the Netherlands and is currently deploying the first system.
ABB is the biggest global supplier of industrial robots and started to develop systems for e-commerce logistics three years ago. The partnership between Covariant and ABB will focus on the development of artificial intelligence software that teaches new skills to robots. The partnership intends to fill the gap in the order picking process identified by ABB.
ABB, a leading global supplier of industrial robots, started developing systems for e-commerce logistics three years ago. The new partnership with Covariant, which develops artificial intelligence software to teach robots new skills, is intended to address a gap that ABB identified in the order picking process.
During an interview, Sami Atiya, Robotics and Discrete Automation president, claimed that the move to venture into e-commerce would help ABB to stand on “multiple legs rather than one strong leg.” Sami Atiya added that 60% annual sales of the division originate from other sectors apart from the automotive industry.
ABB faces a challenge as a result of the global slowdown in automotive manufacturing. Although there was a reduction by 18% on the robotics business orders in the fourth quarter of 2019 and a drop on sales by 10%, ABB said it is expecting steady or slightly higher revenue in 2010-excluding the possible effect it may have as a result of coronavirus outbreak.Source