ABB acquires ASTI Mobile Robotics Group

According to its official press release, Swedish engineering giant ABB bought ASTI Mobile Robotics Group (ASTI) in Spain. The Spanish company is the global leader in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) technology.

We do not know the details yet, but ASTI expects to have a turnover of $50m in 2021. In addition, ABB Robotics complete this acquisition in mid-summer 2021. The founders founded ASTI in 1982 and it head office is in Burgos, Spain. The company has over 300 employees in Spain, France and Germany.

ASTI’s AMR portfolio includes autonomous towing vehicles, goods-to-person solutions, unit carriers and box movers. Also, the company offers a comprehensive software. For example, it includes vehicle navigation and control, fleet and order management and cloud-based traceability systems.

Thanks to this deal, Burgos will be the center for ABB AMR development. It combines the technologies with ABB’s portfolio of robots, machine automation, modular solutions and software suite. The center will have core functions of R&D, engineering, product and project value chain.

Furthermore, ABB plans to expand production capacity in Burgos to support the planned sales expansion in Europe and the Americas. It will also establish an Asia AMR hub, at its new robotics factory in Shanghai set to open in 2022.

Who is ABB Group?

According to its official page, ABB is a leading global technology company. It aims to energize 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 higher operations. The Swedish company has a long history of excellence and it stretches back more than 130 years, in fact. ABB has about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

Who is ASTI?

According to its official site, ASTI Mobile Robotics is an international group of mobile robotics companies. The company aims to help its customers become more competitive. Company’s engineering team analyses, designs, manufactures, deploys and maintains AGV-based intralogistics systems. They are applied to move materials and products from one location to another within plants.

In fact, ASTI is offering the market’s widest range of automated guided vehicles (AGVs). As a result, ASTI Mobile Robotics Group has been awarded Europe’s leading mobile robotics manufacturer for the fifth consecutive year.

Robotics changes manufacturing

Most of developed countries faced the same problem: declining birth rate. Of course, this trend is not new, but the pandemic accelerates it more. For example, the world largest economies, US, China and Japan, showed one of the lowest birth rates in 2020. As a result, they changed their policies and laws to stimulate people to get married and give birth more. However, it takes time to recover the birth rate or sometimes it is failed. For instance, Japan understands it is the huge problem for the country, but the rate does not recover or even worse.

Therefore, it would be better for companies and countries to think of alternative ways to solve the problem. Robotics will be one of them, in fact. Some industries including manufacturing have already experiences lack of workforce. As a result, some of companies try to introduce and make use of robotics.

It seems that robotics is still not popular in many industries like “Trough of Disillusionment” phase of Hype Cycle. However, it will become standard in many industries sooner or later. This is because most of companies need workforce to produce their products or services.