ABB palletizing robots deployed in coal mines

Provides palletizing robots for brick production line of Tashan coal mine, marking 1st application of its kind in China

Significantly improves the efficiency and quality of products

Beijing, March 5, 2012 –ABB delivered 4 IRB 660 palletizing robots to Tashan coal mine of Datong Coal Mine Group with brick machinery from Shandong GONGLI. The ABB robots are applied to the brick production line for adobe palletizing, replacing the traditional manual labor and improving the production efficiency and product quality. This application is the first of its kind in China, making it a model in the National Circular Economy initiative of the coal industry and setting an example for the palletizing application in China’s brick production industry.

Dr. Chun-yuan Gu, head of Discrete Automation and Motion division, ABB North Asia and China, said, “As a pioneer and technology leader in the global robotics industry, ABB closely cooperates with its Chinese customers to provide customized robotics solutions to address local demands. We are happy to supply China’s first adobe palletizing robotic solution to Datong Coal Mine Group. The solution will fill the gap in China and create a good model for other similar applications in the industry.”

Rocks and other waste material are generated when producing coal. This waste is then reused by coal mines to make bricks. 4 ABB IRB 660 robots have been applied in the brick production lines of Tashan coal mine, and they are responsible for palletizing the adobe and putting it into the brick kiln, a task that used to be handled by manual workers. In general, the productivity of 2 ABB palletizing robots is equal to 2 shifts of 30 workers.

After replacing the manual labor with ABB robots, the palletizing accuracy is greatly improved. It ensures the orderly placement of adobe in the brick kiln, increasing product quality. It allows for the flexible change of the types of bricks, the production pace, product code, the kiln, and the vehicles. In addition, ABB robots can take the place of workers in high temperatures and heavy dust environments, helping to improve the workers’ environment and sanitary conditions, while reducing their labor intensity.

The ABB IRB 660 is well suited for material handling and palletizing. With a payload of up to 250 kg, this 4-axis robot has a reach of 3.15 meters. A single IRB 660 unit equals the productivity of15 workers and delivers over 30% more operational precision compared to the industry average, making it the top in the industry.

ABB is a leading supplier in the global robotics industry with over 200,000 installations worldwide. In 2005, ABB established its third R&D facility there, following those in Sweden and Norway, and realized locally manufacturing robots in China.

Datong Coal Mine Group is a large-scale energy company with a focus on coal production. The company also operates electric power, chemical, metal, and machinery manufacturing businesses. Tashan coal mine is located in Tashan Circular Economy Industry Park, the first of its kind to cover the whole industry value chain in China’s coal mine industry. The industry park was inaugurated in 2009, and is home to the 15 million-ton Tashan coal mine, the 10 million-ton Tongxin coal mine, and many other facilities such as a coal separating plant, power plant, cement plant, and sewage treatment plant.

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 135,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 18,300 employees, 35 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 80 cities.

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    ABB IRB 660


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