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NEW PRODUCT NEWS

ABB makes manufacturing more sustainable by recycling and remanufacturing thousands of old robots

ABB Inc.

  • ABB remanufactures robots, controllers and manipulators, refurbishing them to give them a second life
  • Remanufactured robots help customers unlock new functionalities and advanced services while reducing maintenance costs and maximizing return on investment
  • Sourcing unused and discontinued robots for remanufacturing ensures older robots avoid being scrapped when their lifetime could be extended

As sustainability continues to grow in importance globally, ABB is committed to help create more environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities across the world. Remanufacturing enables existing robot users to sell inactive or legacy robots to ABB with an attractive buy back service, rather than scrapping them or leaving them unused in a corner of the factory. 

Over the last 25 years, thousands of robots have been refurbished and upgraded by ABB’s remanufactured robot teams, to give them a second life. As well as previously owned robots, peripheral equipment such as controllers and manipulators are refurbished to “like-new” conditions at one of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers.

Before being labelled as an ABB-certified remanufactured robot, every second-hand unit undergoes rigorous checks, including a detailed inspection and a minimum 16-hour functioning test. Each remanufactured robot comes with a two-year warranty and buyers of refurbished equipment enjoy the same level of support from local service teams, including installation and training, as they would with the purchase of a new ABB robot.

“Unlike third-party refurbishes who only fix faulty parts, we completely remanufacture our robots using original ABB design plans, specifications and dimensional data. This guarantees that the robots offer the same levels of quality, performance, durability and safety as a new ABB robot,” said Jan Borsky, Sales Manager of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers. “We have one of the largest inventories of pre-owned and reconditioned robots across the world, with 400 robots of various types in stock for sale, and currently the demand for second life robots is so high that we have more than one robot leaving our Ostrava facility every working day.”

Each remanufactured robot can also be upgraded to the latest controller, which unlocks new functionalities such as ABB Ability Connected services or the latest version of RobotStudio®, ABB's simulation and offline programming software. Upgrades can also unlock the potential of collaborative robotics, with ABB’s SafeMove software providing businesses with the opportunity to enable robots to work alongside operators without the need for extensive guarding, which helps to cut both the cost of an installation and the overall footprint, ideal for locations where space is at a premium.

“Customers across the world are benefiting from giving old robots a new lease of life. Updating their robots with the latest technologies has helped boost flexibility and productivity, and by extending the lifetime of their robots, has helped maximize their return on investment,” added Jan Borsky. “We’ve also helped existing robot customers who wanted to add additional robots to their existing production line but found that the specific model they needed had been discontinued. We sourced and installed a remanufactured model, so the business could continue to benefit from long-term efficiencies in maintenance, spare parts and staff training.”

ABB’s network of global remanufacturing facilities includes centers in Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Auburn Hills in Michigan and Shanghai in China, as well as local remanufacturing service centers in Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Vietnam.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global engineering company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by 144,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation is a pioneer in robotics, machine automation and digital services, providing innovative solutions for a diverse range of industries, from automotive to electronics to logistics. As one of the world’s leading robotics and machine automation suppliers, we have shipped over 400,000 robot solutions. We help our customers of all sizes to increase productivity, flexibility and simplicity and to improve output quality. We support their transition towards the connected and collaborative factory of the future. ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation employs more than 10,000 people at over 100 locations in more than 53 countries. 

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