Fanuc Shanghai gigafactory to churn out US$137m worth of robots per year

Upon completion, the plant will introduce cutting-edge technologies such as cobot, mobile robot and digital twin.

Fanuc’s smart gigafactory opened to great fanfare yesterday in suburban Shanghai, making it the company’s largest such plant outside of Japan, where its headquarters is.

Construction on the project, the third phase of the robot giant’s Shanghai smart gigafactory, began in 2020 in northern Shanghai’s Baoshan District, with an investment of 1.58 billion yuan (US$217 million).

Stretching for 300,000 sqm, this sprawling factory boasts an expected annual output of 10 billion yuan, heralding a new chapter in the history of China’s robot industrial development.

Upon completion, the plant will introduce cutting-edge technologies such as cobot, mobile robot and digital twin.

From sheet metal processing to material handling, the entire production lines at the facility will achieve a 95% automation level, meaning that the factory can function independently of human intervention.

Founded in 1997, Shanghai Fanuc is a tie-up between Fanuc Group and Shanghai Electric, a state-owned mechanical conglomerate.

The first and second phases of its gigafactory were topped off in 2010 and 2014, respectively, covering a total land area of around 60,000 sqm.

Notably, Fanuc Group, the parent, delivered 1 million industrial robots in August this year, hitting an all-time high for a single brand.

In addition to Fanuc, its arch rival ABB also owns and runs a gigafactory in Shanghai.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at

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