ABB expands industrial robot range with Codian acquisition

  • October 14, 2020
  • William Payne

ABB has acquired Dutch firm Codian Robotics BV, a specialist provider of delta robots used in high-precision pick and place applications. Codian Robotics’ products include a hygienic design range for industries such as food and beverage and pharmaceuticals. The acquisition is part of ABB push into the field of delta robots.

Codian Robotics is based in Ede, Netherlands and employs 20 people globally. The company will continue to serve its customers directly. The acquisition was signed and closed on October 1, 2020. Details of the financial transaction have not been made public.

A delta robot is a parallel arm robot comprising three arms connected by universal joints at the base. They can manipulate light and small objects at high speeds.

Delta robots were invented in the early 1980s by a research team at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. After a visit to a chocolate maker, a team member wanted to develop a robot to place pralines in their packages.

While today the majority of robots in the food and beverage industry are not designed for touching food, Codian Robotics’ portfolio includes a hygienic design that allows safe, open food processing.

In the future, ABB aims to provide its customers with a broader range of delta robots and integrated solutions from a single source, contributing to ABB’s machine-centric robotics strategy to integrate machine automation and robot control into a single platform.

“Our acquisition underscores our focus on breakthrough technology, helping our customers to fully realise the potential of automation and increase their flexibility in a rapidly changing business landscape,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation. “Codian Robotics’ technologies and industry expertise are the perfect addition to our suite of food and beverage, pharmaceutical, service robotics and logistics solutions, while also supporting ABB’s machine-centric robotics offering.”

“Over the years, we have developed an extensive product portfolio. ABB’s impressive global presence and industry expertise will help us make our portfolio available globally. I am looking forward to working together to write the next chapter of our success story,” said Freek Hartman, Founder of Codian Robotics.

“There is a strong need for pick and place robots that ensure high hygienic standards, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our food and beverage, pharmaceutical and logistics customers are particularly interested in the potential of automation, enabling supply chains to continue to function, while protecting employee welfare,” added Atiya.

Hans Wimmer, President of ABB’s Machine Automation division and Managing Director of B&R, said: “With Codian Robotics we are acquiring one of the world’s most successful suppliers of delta robots with an extraordinary track record in the machine builders’ sector. In the future, we will be able to offer our customers fully integrated solutions – globally and for all industries.”