ABB Automation director dies in plane crash

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Board of directors

Roger Agnelli
Roger Agnelli
ABB Automation has announced Roger Agnelli, 56, a member of the ABB Board of Directors, has died in a plane crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil, along with his wife and two children.

The incident occurred at 3.20pm local time on Saturday, March 19.

An investigation has begun into the cause of the crash

The deaths of Agnelli, his immediate family, the pilot and two other passengers on board, were confirmed by the Brazilian authorities in a statement on March 19.

The authorities announced an investigation has begun into the cause of the crash and no details are available at the moment.

I am deeply saddened. Roger was an extremely admired and valued member of ABB's board of directors and a good friend​,” said Peter Voser, chairman, ABB Board of Directors.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him. My thoughts are with the families of the victims​.

"It is a terrible tragedy that has shocked me deeply​.”

Agnelli joined the ABB Board of Directors in 2002, shortly after becoming chairman of the Brazilian mining company, Vale, which he went on to lead as president and CEO until 2011.

Following his death, the Board continues to fulfill its duties as per the Articles of Incorporation. New Board members have been proposed for election at the company's AGM on April 21.

FoodProductionDaily reported ABB saw an increased demand in its robots​ from food manufacturers from 2011-2013, significantly in automation for packaged meat at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany, last year.

Bakery, sweets, meat, cosmetics & pharmaceuticals

Jens Philipp Mehnert, sales engineer, ABB Automation said in 2013, 6,200 robots were sold across the food industry worldwide and saw less fluctuation in other market segments during this time.

Sales of parallel robots went up due to the changing market of the food industry, particularly in meat​,” he said.

About 70 years ago buying meat was something special by visiting the local butcher and 20 years ago people ate meat almost every day​.

Today, most people buy meat in the supermarket, they don’t need to go to a butcher for the service and information is printed on the package. Due to this, we have seen an increased demand for packed meat and robot applications for that sector​.”

Mehnert said a few years’ ago, ABB Automation decided to focus on several industry segments; automotive, foundry, welding and cutting, plastics and metal and painting and packaging. Now it focuses on five segments in packaging; bakery, sweets, meat, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

We distinguish what we sell into picking, packing and palletizing​,” he added.

Our Delta robot is used mainly for picking and packaging. For picking we use a 6- axis robot, and we have also developed related systems like the PickMaster, RobotStudio and customers can optimize their robots online before commissioning them​.

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