Robotics and Motion Division

Overview

The Robotics and Motion division provides products, solutions and related services that increase industrial productivity and energy efficiency. Our key products such as motors, generators, drives and robotics provide power, motion and control for a wide range of automation applications. The leading position in wind generators and propulsion converters complement the industrial focus, leveraging joint technology, channels and operations platforms.

Revenues are generated both from direct sales to end-users as well as from indirect sales through distributors, machine builders, system integrators, and OEMs.

The Robotics and Motion division had approximately 27,100 employees as of December 31, 2017, and generated $8.4 billion of revenues in 2017.

Products and Services

The Robotics business offers robots, controllers, software systems, as well as complete robot automation solutions and a comprehensive range of advanced services for automotive and Tier One OEMs as well as for general industry. These provide flexibility for manufacturers to meet the challenge of making smaller lots of a larger number of specific products in shorter cycles for today’s dynamic global markets, while also improving quality, productivity and reliability. Robots are also used in activities or environments which may be hazardous to employee health and safety, such as repetitive or strenuous lifting, dusty, hot or cold rooms, or painting booths. In the automotive industry, robot products and systems are used in such areas as press shop, body shop, paint shop, power train assembly, trim and final assembly. General industry segments in which robotics solutions are used range from metal fabrication, foundry, plastics, food and beverage, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electronics and warehouse/logistics center automation. Typical robotic applications in general industry include welding, material handling, machine tending, painting, picking, packing, palletizing and small parts assembly automation.

The Motors and Generators business supplies a comprehensive range of electrical motors, generators, and mechanical power transmission products. The range of electrical motors includes high efficiency motors that conform to leading environmental and Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). Efficiency is an important selection criterion for customers, because electric motors account for nearly two-thirds of the electricity consumed by industrial plants. The business unit manufactures synchronous motors for the most demanding applications and a full range of low- and high-voltage induction motors, for both IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) standards. The business unit also offers solutions that monitor motor performance and provide vital intelligence on key operating parameters. These products and solutions help customers improve uptime, extend motor lifetimes, and increase productivity while becoming or remaining digitally connected.

The Drives business provides low-voltage and medium-voltage drives and systems for industrial, commercial and residential applications. Drives provide speed, torque and motion control for equipment such as fans, pumps, compressors, conveyors, centrifuges, mixers, hoists, cranes, extruders, printing and textile machines. They are used in industries such as building automation, marine, power, transportation, food and beverage, metals, mining, and oil and gas. The business unit also supplies traction converters (propulsion converters and auxiliary converters) for the transportation industry and wind converters.

The division also offers services that complement its products and solutions, including design and project management, engineering, installation, training and lifecycle care, energy efficiency appraisals, preventive maintenance and digital services such as remote monitoring and software tools.

Customers

The Robotics and Motion division serves a wide range of customers. Customers include machinery manufacturers, process industries such as pulp and paper, oil and gas, and metals and mining companies, hybrid and batch manufacturers such as food and beverage companies, transportation equipment manufacturers, discrete manufacturing companies such as “3C” (computer, communication and consumer electronic), utilities as well as customers in the automotive industry.

Sales and Marketing

Sales are made both through direct sales forces as well as through third-party channel partners, such as distributors, wholesalers, installers, machine builders and OEMs, and system integrators. The proportion of direct sales compared to channel partner sales varies among the different industries, product technologies and geographic markets.

Competition

The Robotics and Motion division’s principal competitors vary by product line but include Fanuc Robotics, Kuka Robot Group, Rockwell Automation, Schneider, Siemens, Yaskawa and WEG Industries.

Capital Expenditures

The Robotics and Motion division’s capital expenditures for property, plant and equipment totaled $118 million in 2017, compared to $112 million and $126 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Principal investments in 2017 were primarily related to equipment replacement, footprint adjustments and automation upgrades. Geographically, in 2017, Europe represented 46 percent of the capital expenditures, followed by the Americas (32 percent) and AMEA (22 percent).