ABB will acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics Group (ASTI), a manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots (AMR), which has a broad portfolio across all major applications enabled by the company’s software. The acquisition will expand ABB’s robotics and automation offerings, providing the company with a complete portfolio of flexible automation technologies.

The AMR business will be headquartered in Burgos, Spain and led by Veronica Pascual Boé, ASTI CEO. In addition a new Asia AMR hub, including full value chain and manufacturing, will open at the ABB Robotics factory in Shanghai, China.

The acquisition is a key part of ABB’s external growth strategy, and was signed on July 19th, with a closing date expected mid-summer of this year.

Founded in 1982, ASTI has been headquartered in Burgos, Spain, and employs more than 300 in Spain, France and Germany. It is majority owned by CEO Veronica Pascual Boé. ASTI supports one of Europe’s largest installed fleets of AMRs and has a broad customer base in automotive, logistics, food and beverage and pharma in 20 countries. The company has grown nearly 30% per year since 2015, and expects revenues of about $50 million in 2021.

“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,” says Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business. “With this acquisition, ABB will be the only company to offer a full automation portfolio of AMRs, robots and machine automation solutions, from production to logistics to point of consumption. This is a game changer for our customers as they adapt to the individualized consumer and seize opportunities presented by significant changes in consumer demand.”

ABB CEO and ASTI CEO announcing purchase

Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation, and ASTI CEO Veronica Pascual Boé celebrate the purchase of ASTI by ABB. Photo courtesy ABB

“ABB’s vision is a perfect match for us, as we both support our customers’ flexibility and competitiveness through accelerating automation in the workplace, says Veronica Pascual Boé. This is the next exciting stage of our journey and together we will accelerate our innovation plans, expand our global customer service, partner network, production and execution capacity and leverage ABB’s market access globally—and particularly in China. I am delighted to join the extended Robotics management team and lead the AMR business to deliver this ambitious growth plan.”

ASTI’s AMR portfolio includes autonomous towing vehicles, goods-to-person solutions, unit carriers and box movers as well as a comprehensive software offering, ranging from vehicle navigation and control, fleet and order management and cloud-based traceability systems.

These will be integrated with ABB’s portfolio of robots, machine automation, modular solutions and software suite including RobotStudio®, ABB Robotics’ simulation and programming tool, creating a unique and comprehensive automation portfolio for ABB’s customers.