Robotic innovation promoted from Barcelona. Despite the hectic global context, with turbulence in the technology sector and the problems that still persist in the industry’s supply chains, the Swedish-Swiss multinational ABB has succeeded in deploying the center of robotic innovation for clients that it inaugurated in 2020 at its facilities in Sant Quirze del Vallés.
As detailed by the company, which in 2022 increased its turnover in Spain 13%, this space “allows us to unlock the potential of digital manufacturing and industrial robotics in Spain, helping to speed up the digital transformation of industry in our country”. “With 1,200 m2, the center has an area of coworking aimed at the development of applications, concept tests, use cases, agile prototyping and experimentation in the areas of robotics, 3D vision and metrology, additive manufacturing, collaborative robots, augmented reality, service robotics, among others”, indicate from the signature.
The center is equipped with meeting rooms and an auditorium with a geodome, a futuristic dome with a 360-degree surround vision system, so engineers and designers can fully immerse themselves in augmented reality versions of the technologies they are working on. The Customer Innovation Center also offers ABB knowledge to develop robotic solutions to address today’s business challenges.
According to the multinational, all of this makes it possible to generate real, tangible business opportunities for companies in a wide range of industries and of all sizes, in sectors such as the automotive industry, logistics or food and beverages. These facilities in Sant Quirze del Vallès also house the production center and organization of robotic systems of ABB in Spain, which generates employment for around 500 people, and where the ABB business areas of Electrification, Motion and Process Automation provide services and supplies with their respective technological offers.
AI and 3D
In Sant Quirze there is also a showroom and the world center 3DVM of the company’s 3D metrology applications. It is a scanning technology for 3D white light sensors, using digital scanners, to optimize inspection and quality assurance in manufacturing, since it can detect defects in components manufactured with a very high level of precision.
The fourth global center is the Digital Acceleration for autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) with artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D vision mapping technology, which started six years ago; a task for which a team of the most internationalized of the company in Sant Quirze is assigned, with engineers of multiple nationalities and specializations. One of the global solutions centers in the complex is dedicated to producing 3D scanners for automotive and aeronautics.
In recent years, the company has also focused on attracting and developing female talent. “We have been discussing for many years why there is a lack of women in the sector and I am of the opinion that time should not be wasted on why, but that we must ‘go to'”, he points out. Antonio Freijeresponsible for the corporation in Spain, who stresses that the international profile of the company helps to attract young people and women.
“All the companies in our sector are the same, there is a lack of women,” says Freije. The company also carries out “salary audits to detect possible cases” of the gender gap and “solve them, if any.” “We have two main objectives: to increase the number of women and for women to form part of management teams, because the moment a woman is a manager in the company, she will attract more women.