Adding Auto Capacity... in Finland
Although you may not think “Finland” and “automotive manufacturing,” you should know that there is a company based in Uusikaupunki that has been building cars for a variety of manufacturers since 1969.
The first car built by Valmet Automotive was a Saab 96, and since then they’ve produced an array of cars ranging from Porsche Boxsters to Fisker Karmas. The total number of cars built in the plant exceeds one million.
The most recent contract that Valmet has secured is to produce the Mercedes GLC SUV to supplement the German manufacturer’s output from its Bremen, Germany plant.
Valmet has been building the Mercedes A-Class since 2013.
To accommodate the production of the GLC Valmet is building a greenfield facility in Uusikaupunki that is to launch in early 2017.
And it has placed what is said to be the largest contract for industrial robots ever in Finland, ordering more than 250 robots from ABB Inc. Robtics(abb.com). Included in the order are the IRB 6700, which ABB says offers the lowest cost of ownership in the 150- to 300-kg class, and the IRB 8700, ABB’s largest robot, which has a reach of 3.5 meters and a payload capacity of up to 800 kg.
These new robots will double the number at Valmet Automotive.
This is the Case IH 8000 Series Austoft sugar cane harvester: According to CNH Industrial, which owns Case, in Brazil, where equipment like this is used, sugar cane harvesting, which had once been a labor-intensive process (as had been the production of cars and components), workers had been able to cut cane at a rate of up to 500 kg per hour.
When it comes to the deployment of robots, the auto industry is the hands-down leader. Or maybe that should be “gripper down”
A new generation of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) yields a new acronym: PAC (programmable automation controller). There’s a lot more control power today.