ABB grows with customers for Intelligent Upgrading

ABB, the leader in power and automation technologies, reviewed its performance in the past year and felt proud, as the group made most of its own smart technology in collaboration with customers to improve energy efficiency, productivity, product quality and competiveness and realize intelligent upgrading.

Going forward, ABB will continue its mid-term strategy, continue to make steady investments and continue to provide Chinese customers with tailor-made products and solutions. ABB will leverage growth opportunities in the fast-growing inland regions and secure growth in service.

Thought-leadership Concept:

With the rapid economic and business growth, enterprises will confront production bottlenecks such as energy, talent, space and capital, with further economic transformation and industrial upgrading. Intelligent Upgrading means that enterprises solve the above bottleneck problems through localized R&D and innovation with Smart Technology to overcome those hurdles.

“Intelligent Upgrading means innovations based on one’s own conditions, including technology, techniques, management systems and business models, instead of imitating overseas models or copying others’ experience,” said Chunyuan Gu, Head of ABB North Asia and China, “Such innovations help industries grow beyond the existing models, cast off restraints in energy, human resources, space and capital, improve energy efficiency, productivity and product quality and minimize the impact on the environment. Intelligent Upgrading requires technology, customer and market insights and concerted efforts of all participants along the industrial chain. ABB has such capabilities and is pleased to join all stakeholders to drive shared growth through industrial upgrading and economic transformation.”

ABB, a leading technology group, has comprehensive power and automation technologies covering three main focused areas -- smart grid and city, smart manufacturing and production, and smart home and building:

  • ABB’s grid optimization solution, built on advanced infrastructure and tuned to facilitate system integration, can help customers manage electricity demand in a sustainable, reliable and efficient manner;
  • ABB products and solutions are at the heart of a city's critical infrastructure, relied upon for everything from the supply of power, water and heat, to the automation of buildings and infrastructure;
  • ABB supports customers move to the next level of industrialization with automation, and helps to support the development of resource-conserving, environment-friendly industries;
  • ABB helps customer improve energy efficiency, productivity, product quality and competitiveness;
  • ABB technology is people-oriented, and improves power safety and comfort at homes and buildings with efficient smart building control systems.
Case Studies:
  • A long journey to transmit power across the country
China plans to conformation a “Strong and Smart Grid” in 2020 of which Ultra-high voltage (UHV) transmission is a core component. UHV power transmission capacity is expected to reach 450 GW in 2020, accepting 1.7 trillion kW of clean energy per year. ABB has so far participated in a number of national key high-voltage direct current transmission projects.

Eastern China is an engine of the Chinese economy and also the load center in China. ABB participated in the ±800-kilovolt (kV) Sichuan Xiluodu-Zhexi Ultra-High-Voltage Direct Current (UHVDC) transmission connection in 2013, by supplying converter transformers, DC filter capacitors and key components for converter valves. The link travels over a distance of 1,670 kilometers, and is one of the world’s highest capacity power connections with a transmission capacity of 8,000 megawatt (MW). After the project is completed in 2014, the link will supply approximately 40 billion kilowatt-hours of clean hydropower per year – enough to meet the needs of over 11 million consumers - to the Western Zhejiang area.
  • Joining hands with new energy vehicle company to develop the local DC fast-charging solutions
New energy vehicles (EV) are one of China’s 7 emerging strategic industries. China is expected to have a production capacity of 2 million and an accumulative sales volume of more than 5 million by 2020. DENZA, the first electric vehicle of Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (BDNT), is designed for journeys of 200 kilometers and is among the first long-range EVs to go on sale in China.

ABB has a strategic collaboration with BDNT to supply direct current fast chargers and develop the local DC fast-charging solutions, fueling the development of this advanced electric car. The wall-mounted chargers will have a number of innovations designed for user convenience and safety, such as a mobile app that allows remote monitoring and control of charging sessions, with the option of charging status change notifications. In the Netherlands and Estonia, ABB helped build nationwide EV fast-charging networks with its advanced technology. Fast-charging stations built by ABB make it possible to charge an electric car in 15-30 minutes, helping EVs become a robust alternative to traditional cars in these two countries. In 2013, ABB began to build up a local EV team in China to support growth including R&D, manufacturing, logistics, and service.
  • Forward-looking technological innovation drives industrial upgrading
The continuously increased labor cost and decreased supply has caused labor-intensive industries to struggle as they face myriads of difficulties such as recruitment difficulties and high employee turnover rates. 3C (computer, communication and consumer electronics) products fell into the labor-intensive industries in the past. However, some enterprises predicted this trend of labor shortage with great foresight in the early 21st century, and invited technology companies like ABB to discuss the way out of it.

By combining customer demand with its own vision and strength, ABB has gradually shifted its focus on industrial robot R&D in China, from large robots oriented for automating to small robots for 3C industrial upgrading. Later, ABB introduced the IRB 120 – developed in China, it is ABB’s fastest and most accurate 6-axis robot. The robot is very small and as light as 25kg, so it can be placed at any location or even hung upside down or mounted on the wall. The robot has obvious operating advantages in limited spaces, especially in small work piece processing, material movement and assembly. This robot has become the preferred product for 3C industrial upgrading in China, while also selling well in many overseas markets.
  • Perfect upgrading of driving and riding experiences
The industrial robot market is seeing an explosive growth in China. According to the latest data from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), China will have a demand of 35,000 robots in 2015, accounting for 16.9% of the world’s total sales, and become the largest robot market on the planet. ABB is the only multinational corporation that realizes industrial robot localization across the whole value chain in China, including R&D, production, sales, engineering and services. In 2013, ABB robots were used at production facilities of many automakers such as BMW and Volvo.

In 2013, ABB provided the BMW production base in Tiexi, Shenyang with robot products and solutions. ABB robots are mainly used for handling tasks, as well as gluing and spot welding processes. Meanwhile, ABB also provided the Volvo production base in Chengdu with a robot automation solution, becoming the first robot supplier to provide water-soluble adhesive system solutions in the Chinese market. This solution reduces noise and vibrations throughout the whole car while in operation, creating a quiet and comfortable driving environment for owners. It also greatly reduces the amount of volatile and organic compounds needed during manufacturing, thereby minimizing environmental pollution and damage to human health by improving the air quality in the car. Moreover, ABB also provided Changan Ford plants in Hangzhou and Chongqing with body-in-white and powertrain automation production lines, effectively increasing their level of automation and product quality.
  • Safeguarding data for Tencent’s “Cloud”
Datacenters are the core infrastructure for emerging technology industries such as “cloud computing” and “Internet of Things” (IoT). Datacenters require high levels of power reliability as digital devices are extremely intolerant to power supply interruptions or fluctuations which can result in data losses with serious consequences. A study shows that a single incident resulting in power outage at datacenters may create an economic loss of up to US$1 million (more than $11,000 per minute).

Tencent is currently one of the largest integrated Internet service providers in China. Tencent is expanding its cloud computing and R&D capabilities and already has established datacenters using environmentally friendly and energy efficient technologies in Shenzhen and Shanghai. The new R&D and data storage center in Tianjin, owned by Tencent, supports sufficient datacenter resources for the northern market in China. In 2013, ABB supplied ultra-efficient 10 kilovolt (kV) dry-type transformers for this center to help it increase power supply reliability and reduce energy consumption. These efficient dry-type 10kV transformers are ideal for such applications due to their high efficiency and reliability factor. They are also capable of reducing no-load losses by up to 10 percent, compared with similar standard transformers and are more environmentally friendly. The epoxy resin cast transformers feature excellent short circuit resistance and overload support capacity, eliminate leakage risk of flammable or contaminating substances, and minimize power losses.
  • E-commerce trial shows initial success
E-commerce is significantly changing people’s consumption patterns. Since 2010, ABB has opened its flagship stores at Tmall (formerly Taobao mall) and Alibaba, and became one of the first companies in China’s electrical industry to make an attempt at e-commerce.

To answer new digital life-style call of consumers, ABB is now selling quality power distribution products for the home direct-to-consumers through its Tmall flagship store, including the more user-friendly 5-hole socket and LED corner lamp with infrared detection. And ABB's flagship store at Alibaba focuses on “industrial consumer goods” and caters to professional users, providing various types of medium and low voltage electrical products, such as the controllable contactors, diversified breakers and handy industrial plugs and sockets. ABB’s technical experts are available for both online stores to provide guidance so that consumers make the proper choice—ensuring safe power consumption for all families and industries.

Reliable product quality and wholehearted service are wining more and more customers for the ABB flagship stores. In 2013, the yearly sales volume of ABB flagship stores at Tmall and Alibaba increased by more than 5 times that of the previous year. At the recently held Alibaba Industrial Product Supplier Conference 2013, ABB was awarded “The Best Branded Cooperative Store of Alibaba 2013” and was also the only store to receive such honor.
  • There are still more such stories…
ABB supports Chinese customers for Intelligent Upgrading and contributes to building a “Beautiful China” in many places: from the glitzy SOHO building at Shanghai’s Bund to the underground circular tunnel of the Beijing Olympic Park – the largest city tunnel in Asia; and from Daocheng-Yading Airport in Sichuan Province at an elevation of 4,411 meters – the world’s highest airport – to Zhongwei-Guiyang gas pipeline that guarantees energy security for China.

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 150,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 19,000 employees, 37 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 109 cities.

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