ABBFinland – Production of the Mercedes SUV is due to begin in early 2017, once the 250 ABB robots have been installed in the bodyshop, where automation will exceed 90%. Valmet says the deal is the largest in Finnish history and will boost the number of robots at its Uusikaupunki plant to more than 500.

Jyrki Nurmi, GLC project director at Valmet Automotive, described the installation schedule as “challenging” but added that “with our long-term development work and the experiences from the A-Class bodyshop [with 200 robots], we have gained excellent knowhow in engineering and constructing a large and highly automated bodyshop”.

Valmet says that focus areas for the new bodyshop will be: availability, programming speed, low spare-part demand, flexibility, high productivity and short lead times.

In the opinion of Janne Leinonen, LBU manager at ABB Oy, Valmet is “an excellent example of a company where high-grade technology and engineering skills together with state-of-the-art industrial robotics ensure global competitiveness”.