ABB Sells First U.S. Manufactured Robot

An IRB 2600 will be used by Hitachi Powdered Metals for handling in-process engine components.

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) sold their first robot manufactured in the United States. The IRB 2600 robot is the first to be produced at their Auburn Hills facility and was sold by ABB Value Provider CIM Systems, Inc. (Noblesville, IN) to Hitachi Powdered Metals (USA), Inc. (Greensburg, IN). This compact robot, which is painted with special commemorative red, white and blue paint, will be used for material handling of in-process engine component parts at the Greensburg facility and it is the 180th ABB robot in that Hitachi plant, which installed its first ABB robot back in 2005.

“The sale of our first robot produced in the U.S. to Hitachi is a tremendous milestone in the development of our manufacturing presence in the Americas,” said Sami Atiya, the president of the Robotics and Motion Division of ABB. “This is a major step towards our goal of providing local customers with delivery schedules and technical support that are far superior to other robot manufacturers.”

“We are honored to receive this particular robot, which will be prominently positioned on our plant floor to showcase the essential role that their robots have in our operation and our passion to keep production in the U.S.,” said James Adams, the chief engineer of robots and automation at Hitachi. “For a company of our size, the volume of robots we use is unprecedented. I truly believe that if we didn’t have robots in our facility, we wouldn’t be in business today.”

“We are proud to be involved in the placement of this first ABB robot manufactured in the United States,” said Dave Fox, the president of CIM Systems. “We have already seen a reduction in lead times since the Auburn Hills plant opened, and it has helped us get some business that was directly related to improved delivery turnaround.” In May 2015, ABB announced that it would begin producing robots at the Auburn Hills facility, making it the first of the major industrial robot companies to fully commit to an American manufacturing footprint. The delivery of this first U.S. manufactured robot is consistent with the production schedule announced at that factory opening.

In addition to the IRB 2600, the company will begin manufacturing other popular robot models in Auburn Hills this year. By 2018, 75 percent of all the models delivered to North American end-users are planned for manufacture in the United States. Previously, the company’s robots sold in the Americas were made in Sweden and in China. They also recently expanded their commitment to customers in the region by opening a new Packaging Application Center in Bloomfield, CT, and an Assembly and Test Application Center in San Jose, CA. A few years ago, they opened a Handling and Machining Application Center in Houston, TX.