ABB has received an order for 800 industrial robots from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to support the production of a new generation of electric vehicles at its plant in Hanover, Germany. ABB is a Swedish-Swiss multinational leading global engineering firm working mainly in the world of electrification and supplying charging solutions, industrial automation, motion and robotics, and discrete automation.
Currently, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is modernising its Hanover factory and installing state-of-the-art facilities to build the all-electric ID. Buzz Cargo van. Production will start in 2020 and ABB’s robots will be installed in the body shop to undertake a range of body construction tasks.
The new ID. Buzz Cargo van takes many of Volkswagen’s classic design cues but will be constructed in a modern electric package with zero emissions. The concept vehicle shown to the world came with a payload of 800kg and measured 5,048mm long, 1,976mm wide and 1,963mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3,300mm.
The ID.Buzz Cargo will use Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) with the battery integrated into the vehicle floor. This lowers the vehicle’s centre of gravity to offer better handling. A rear-axle steering system combined with the large turn-in angle of the front wheels, gives the concept in an extremely small turning circle of less than 10 metres, making it ideal for manoeuvring in the city. With the MEB system the ID.Buzz Cargo will offer between 205 miles (330km) and 310 miles (500km) depending on the model and battery size.
Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation, said: “We’re excited to extend our long-standing business relationship with Volkswagen by supporting their expansion into e-mobility. ABB’s robotic solutions will provide Volkswagen’s production processes with unprecedented levels of flexibility, to help them adjust to trends and changing customer requirements.
“The dramatic expansion of the EV-segment requires new and innovative manufacturing solutions. With our deep experience in this sector, we are helping our automotive customers master this important and strategic transition towards more sustainable transportation.”