Industrial robotics vendor ABB is offering to buy inactive or legacy robots from users and refurbish them, saying the program can reduce maintenance costs and maximize return on investment for users.
Under the terms of its buy-back service, Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB will recycle or remanufacture the old bots, ensuring that they avoid being scrapped when their lifetimes could be extended, the company said.
Among other models, ABB provides robots that perform packaging, vertical packing, and high-speed, high-variation sorting and on-demand order picking in logistics and e-commerce fulfillment centers. The company has also partnered with artificial intelligence (AI) provider Covariant and with logistics systems supplier Knapp to accelerate the deployment of robotic stations to customers seeking automated material handling applications.
While such robots were once considered cutting-edge by definition, they have now become so mainstream that they can be re-sold and rehabilitated in an approach similar to the market for second-hand cars. In fact, ABB’s program is not new: over the last 25 years, the company has refurbished and upgraded “thousands” of previously owned robots, as well as peripheral equipment such as controllers and manipulators, returning the equipment to “like-new” conditions, ABB says.
“Unlike third-party refurbishes who only fix faulty parts, we completely remanufacture our robots using original ABB design plans, specifications and dimensional data. This guarantees that the robots offer the same levels of quality, performance, durability, and safety as a new ABB robot,” Jan Borsky, sales manager of ABB’s Global Remanufacture & Workshop Repair Centers, said in a release. “We have one of the largest inventories of pre-owned and reconditioned robots across the world, with 400 robots of various types in stock for sale, and currently the demand for second life robots is so high that we have more than one robot leaving our Ostrava facility every working day.”
ABB’s network of global remanufacturing facilities includes centers in Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Auburn Hills in Michigan, and Shanghai in China, as well as local remanufacturing service centers in Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and Vietnam.
As well as refurbishing the robots, ABB can also upgrade most models, adding the latest controller to unlock new functionalities such as ABB Ability Connected services or the latest version of RobotStudio, the company’s simulation and offline programming software. Upgrades can also enable collaborative robotics, with the company’s SafeMove software equipping robots to work alongside operators without the need for extensive guarding.
Last chance to take advantage of ABB’s Connected Services package. Contact your #ABB representative to avail ABB Service and Support today: https://t.co/zx92dDi2GB#ABB_Ability #abbrobotics pic.twitter.com/BQplqfSNwP— ABB Robotics (@ABBRobotics) June 29, 2020