ABB will supply battery assembly robots to Scania for its new battery assembly factory in Sweden. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is investing more than €93 million in the new factory, expected to open in 2023.
In Södertälje, a new 18,000 square meter battery assembly factory will be launched adjacent to the chassis assemblage plant. Scania announced the project for the first time in November 2020, with construction set to begin in early 2021. First, battery modules and packs will be assembled at the plant using cells supplied by Northvolt's battery factory in Skellefte. After that, the completed items will be transported to the automobile assembly plant.
According to ABB, the factory would be "fully automated throughout the process, from delivery to manufacture to delivery." In addition, numerous ABB robots will be used. The factory is equipped with IRB 390, IRB 4600, and IRB 6700 robots, and the business says the production processes will be aided by other ABB technologies.
ABB stated that the IRB 390 model is being deployed in a battery facility for the first time. Initially, the business designed the robot for the packing sector. As a result, the device may operate continuously to construct contact plates in batteries at a rate of one plate per second. In addition, before commissioning, the complete production line is simulated and programmed using ABB RobotStudio. This move results in reduced commissioning times and an increase in the quality of the process.
The transition to electrification creates whole new production issues for the sector, according to Jörg Reger, head of ABB Robotics' Automotive business line. However, he said that his organization had the skills necessary to create and implement the flexible manufacturing solutions companies such as Scania required to manage the move away from fossil fuels.
Scania and ABB have collaborated for almost four decades. Recently, the two firms collaborated on charging systems for big commercial vehicles that would also use Northvolt batteries. Northvolt was developed in collaboration with ABB.
Scania has a supply deal with Northvolt dating back to May 2019. However, the volume of deliveries agreed upon was not specified.