Drives and Controls Magazine
ABB buys Swedish robotic machine-tending specialist
Published:  10 May, 2016

ABB has bought SVIA, a Swedish company that specialises in systems for automated machine-tending, using robots to feed components to lathes and mills, and to processes such as assembly, washing and part-marking. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.

The acquisition expands ABB’s machine-tending portfolio with a wider variety of advanced and vision-integrated applications. ABB says it will benefit machine OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and CNC (computer numeric control) machine-users, as well as its own distributors.

SVIA will join ABB’s robotics business in its Discrete Automation and Motion division, as well as becoming as its global application centre for machine-tending. “SVIA already uses ABB robots across its innovative portfolio of machine-tending solutions,” explains division president, Pekka Tiitinen. “We co-developed ABB’s FlexMT robot automation cell, which can increase machine tool utilisation by up to 90%, compared to 50% utilisation with manual machine-tending.

There is a growing interest in robotic machine-tending, driven by the need to boost productivity and flexibility as production moves towards smaller lots of more diverse products. The robotic systems can also protect workers from fast-moving machinery. ABB says that SVIA’s portfolio of more than 800 machine-tending cell systems, combined with its own dedicated machine-tending software, will cut the engineering costs that are the most significant expense when installing a new machine.

SVIA has already worked with ABB on its machine-minding systems

SVIA offers a mobile app that provides real-time reports on production rates, machine status and stoppage alerts.