Automation will be a major driver for industries in the future, so companies will need both robots and a gamut of related manufacturing technologies, according to the chairman of multinational tech firm ABB.
Last month, the company announced that it will invest $150 million to build an advanced robotics factory in Shanghai where robots will make other robots. It is expected to begin operations by the end of 2020 and will also have an onsite research and development center to pursue innovations in artificial intelligence.
But ABB Chairman Peter Voser told CNBC's Akiko Fujita that the decision to invest in the robotics factory was influenced by growing automation needs across industries.
"What will be driving the industries in the future is going to be automation, towards autonomous manufacturing," Voser said at the Nikkei Global Management Forum in Tokyo. "For that, you need robots, but it's not just the robot itself as a product — but you need also end-to-end solutions for manufacturing. That's why we are building this factory."
China is the world's largest robot market, according to the company.
Voser said the factory will serve the Chinese market where the manufacturing sector has a "great need to automate."
Part of that need will likely be driven by Beijing's push for Made in China 2025, an ambitious industrial policy that aims to locally develop high-end technologies to catch up with Western rivals such as the U.S. and Germany.