ABB launches China-developed “Dragon” robot at the 2009 CIIF -CIIF
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ABB launches China-developed “Dragon” robot at the 2009 CIIF

ABB introduces the smallest ever and the fastest six-axis industrial robot in China

ABB fills in the domestic gap in robotic R&D

ABB China’s robotic business upgrades from “Chinese Manufacturing” to “Chinese Invention”

Shanghai, November 4, 2009 –ABB, the leading power and technology group, launched the Dragon IRB 120, the world’s smallest ever as well as the fastest six-axis industrial robot, at the 2009 China International Industry Fair (CIIF). The release of the Dragon IRB 120 fills in the domestic gap in robotic R&D and promotes ABB’s robotic business from “Chinese Manufacturing” to “Chinese Invention.”



Tormod Gunleiksrud, head of ABB Robotics Division, China and North Asia Region, said, “The development of our smallest ever six-axis robot further expands ABB’s robotic family. It is our first core robotic product developed by the Global Robotics Research Center in China. In addition, it signifies the R&D team’s capacity to develop core products and fills in the research gap for ABB in China. This achievement marks a milestone in the transition from ‘Chinese Manufacturing’ to ‘Chinese Invention’”.

Dr. Gu Chunyuan, ABB Robot Automation Global Technology Manager and Head of Robotics R&D China, said, “The Dragon robot achieves an outstanding degree of operating accuracy at 0.01mm, thinner than a single hair. It is the most accurate six-axis robot in the world. During the testing process we complied with all ISO international standards. Its technical performance in terms of accuracy is beyond the detectable limit of the laser-guided testing instrument in the laboratory.”

With a compact design, the Dragon robot weighs just 25kg and can be mounted at any angle, even in an upside down or wall-mounted position. It is the perfect solution for the handling and assembly of small parts, especially where space is at a premium. With a superior performance in material handling and assembly, it is ideal for a wide range of industries, including the electronics, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, medical and research sectors. It can realize all manual operation functions, including in those environments unsuitable for manual operation, such as in dangerous work environments and in the perpetual performance of repetitive tasks.



Dr. Gu said, “Since the inception of the ABB China Robotics Research Center, Its research and development scope has gradually expanded from software application and peripheral equipment to core product and technology development. Thanks to the concerted efforts of everyone involved, the center has achieved a tremendous victory with the introduction of the new Dragon robot at the 2009 CIIF.

The introduction of the Dragon robot signifies ABB’s ability to quickly respond to the China and Asia markets. Product development should closely address market demand. If the research and development team stays away from China, it is hard to learn the product demand of the China and Asia markets. ABB China monitors the demand of neighbouring markets actively and responds to the changes swiftly backed by its established R&D and design capability. These moves enable the company to improve its market competitiveness, achieve the transition from “Chinese Manufacturing” to “Chinese Invention”, and strongly boost the implementation of “In China for China and for the world” strategy.

To date, ABB is the only multinational company to research and manufacture robotic products in China. The Dragon robot is manufactured in Shanghai so as to meet the demands of both the domestic and overseas markets for cutting edge products while promoting domestic industrial development.

As the pioneer and global leader in robotic technology, ABB invented the world’s first industrial robot in 1974. The company currently possesses the broadest range of robotics, technology and services, and has installed more than 160,000 robotic units, making it the leading industrial robotics supplier with the largest robot installation.

About ABB Robotics Division

The Robotics Division is one of the five mainstays of the ABB Group. In 2006, ABB relocated its Global Robotics Business headquarters to Shanghai, making the city a center of ABB’s robotics business. Established in 2005, the Global Robotics Research Center in Shanghai is the division’s third such R&D facility after those in Switzerland and Sweden. The center has yielded numerous R&D achievements and awards in China, including the world’s first Software Product RobotWare Plastics Mould and the release of its RobotStudio Machine Tending PowerPac, for which it received the 2008 Ringier Technology Innovation Award. By the end of 2008, the center had filed 14 patent applications and published 30 papers in China. In addition, the center has jointly boosted local innovation by partnering with a number of leading universities, including Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, and the Harbin Institute of Technology. The ABB Robot Painter System, jointly developed with Shanghai Jiaotong University, has won industry wide recognition and is permanently displayed at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum as an exemplary case of local innovation.

In addition, ABB also opened its Flexfinishing Regional Application Center-Asia in Shanghai in 2008. This May, ABB Engineering (Shanghai) inaugurated its brand new production base in Shanghai, doubling ABB’s robot manufacturing capacity in China. The ABB Robotics division operates a full range of business activities in China including manufacturing, R&D, sales, engineering and services. In early 2009, it commissioned the country’s first large scale fully automated press line for China National Heavy Duty Truck Corp (SINOTRUK), redefining the industrial benchmarks of heavy truck manufacturing. ABB’s locally developed and manufactured robotic products and systems are shipped worldwide to equip the production lines of leading manufacturers, including the motor production line of Volvo Cars in Europe, the arc welding robot workstation of Tata Motors in India, and the robot paint line of Flextronics in Malaysia.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 15,000 employees, 27 joint ventures and wholly owned companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 60 cities.



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