October 24, 2023
Volvo Cars has signed a robot supply deal with automation supplier Fanuc.
Under the deal, Fanuc will provide its industrial robots across Volvo’s manufacturing sites around the world, including its new battery production facilities in Europe, Asia and America.
In the initial phase, Fanuc will supply more than 700 robots to Volvo’s planned electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing site in Kosice, Slovakia, as well as to sites in Ghent, Belgium and Daqing, China.
"Volvo Cars was looking for a long-term partner in factory automation, and we are proud that we will now shape the future of the automotive industry together," said Marco Ghirardello, Fanuc Europe’s CEO.
The announcement comes as part of Volvo’s wider mission to go green, with the goal of producing only EVs by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. The use of automation technologies such as Fanuc’s industrial robots will be part of this mission, with the factory in Slovakia to be Volvo’s first carbon-neutral manufacturing facility.
"The fact that our robots consume little energy, are extremely durable and enjoy maintenance by FANUC for an unlimited period of time, makes us an attractive partner for companies that want to operate sustainably," said Ralf Völlinger, Fanuc Europe’s general manager robot business division.
Construction of the Kosice plant began this year and the first cars are expected to be produced by 2026.
Volvo also recently announced the establishment of a software testing center in Sweden, created as a hub to develop and test tech for the company’s emerging EVs, as well as other sustainable technologies set for deployment across its sites.
“The aim is to boost our innovation speed by developing software for key areas for Volvo Cars – from core safety technology based on our deep understanding of what causes accidents, to our perception and driver assistance algorithms and software for future autonomous driving,” said Alwin Bakkenes, Volvo’s global head of software engineering.
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