Robotics

Mobile robotics group acquired

ABB announced it will acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics Group (ASTI), a global autonomous mobile robot (AMR) manufacturer to expand their robot and automation portfolio.

By Chris Vavra July 22, 2021
Courtesy: ABB and ASTI

ABB announced it will acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics Group (ASTI), a global autonomous mobile robot (AMR) manufacturer. This acquisition is designed to expand ABB’s robotics and automation portfolio.

Ash Sharma, managing director of Interact Analysis, said of the acquisition, “ABB is the 3rd-largest vendor of industrial (fixed) robots in the world but until now (like most other industrial robot vendors) had no play in mobile robotics. The move to acquire a mobile robot vendor is not surprising as major customers are rapidly adopting mobile robotics to augment their production line automation. Flexible manufacturing necessitates the use of mobile robots for material flow.”

ASTI is headquartered in Burgos, Spain and employs over 300 people in Spain, France and Germany. It is majority owned by Veronica Pascual Boé, who is also CEO. Other shareholders include European Growth Buyout investor Keensight Capital. Today, it supports one of Europe’s largest installed fleets of AMRs and has a broad customer base in automotive, logistics, food & beverage and pharmaceuticals in 20 countries. Since 2015, the company has enjoyed close to 30% growth on an annual basis and is targeting approximately $50 million in revenue in 2021.

In a press release, Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business, said, “With their industry-leading portfolio, comprehensive suite of software and deep domain expertise across growth segments, ASTI is the perfect choice for us as we support our customers with the next generation of flexible automation.”

AMRs are designed to provide flexibility from production, logistics, intralogistics and fulfillment through to retail and healthcare environments. As manufacturing changes, AMRs will be part of a more flexible environment and will be able to autonomously navigate materials, parts and finished products between smart connected workstations.

Sharma’s forecast for the AMR market is positive, saying, “Mobile robots used in manufacturing environments are forecast to generate more than $13 billion in cumulative revenue in the next 4 years.”

Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, cvavra@cfemedia.com.


Chris Vavra
Author Bio: Chris Vavra is the web content manager for CFE Media.