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ABB has announced plans to build one of the world’s most advanced robotics factories in Shanghai by 2020.

The investment will combine connected digital technologies, state-of-the-art collaborative robotics and cutting-edge artificial intelligence research that is slated to become a key part of ABB’s global robotics supply system.

The $US150 million investment in the new factory in China, with a comprehensive R&D centre onsite, builds on the $US2.4 billion ABB has invested since 1992 in China, now the company’s second largest market.

ABB is also a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure globally.

ABB and the Shanghai municipal government signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement focused on supporting industry, energy, transport and infrastructure in the region, and to support the “Made in Shanghai” manufacturing initiative.

“China’s commitment to transform its manufacturing is a torchlight for the rest of the world,” ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said.

“Its strategic embrace of the latest technologies for artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and cloud-based computing present a playbook for every country that wishes to have a globally competitive manufacturing base. Shanghai has become a vital centre for advanced technology leadership – for ABB and the world,” Spiesshofer said.

The new Shanghai factory is expected to begin operating by the end of 2020.