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ABB makes electrical conversion from dairy to Uni at the Toni site in Zurich

Supplying everything from the main distribution board to the sub distributions board

Zurich, Switzerland, April 13, 2016 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has created the electrical distribution systems for the new Toni-Areal building in Zurich, a former dairy. The scope of the project included everything from the main distribution board with ABB circuit breakers to the sub distributions boards, where S800 high-performance MCBs are combined with the SMISSLINE TP pluggable socket system.

The gigantic structure was originally erected in the 1970s and transformed a million liters of milk a day into yoghurt, butter, cream, cheese, ice cream and powdered milk. The plant ceased to operate in 1999 and in 2009, building work started to repurpose the structure to house the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and Zurich University of applied sciences (ZHAW).

In addition to the two academic institutes, the vast building also contains the Schaudepot museum, which houses temporary exhibitions and brings together four collections in Design, Graphics, Applied Art and Posters.  It also contains lecture and concert halls, rehearsal rooms, studios, workshops, film and recording studios, a movie theater, cafés and 100 residential apartments.

“Working with our partners, we designed and created the electrical distribution systems throughout the building,” said Mike Mustapha, Managing Director, Building Products Business Unit of the ABB Electrification Products division. “All the low-voltage distribution boards were fitted with the flexible ABB Smissline pluggable socket system so that everything is finger-safe. This enables devices to be replaced under voltage, ensuring that operation continues uninterrupted. This is a very major advantage, delivering cost savings throughout the system's life cycle.”

The short circuit current at the site is very high, due to the close proximity of the transformer station, which is why S800 high-performance mini circuit breakers (MCBs) were selected. Using high performance S800 MCBs guarantees back up protection. The S800 is very compact and was installed straight into the vertical configuration of the SMISSLINE TP fields, which in itself saves space, since the output wiring is connected directly to the devices, cutting out the need for separate input terminals.

Today there are approximately 5,000 students in the building together with specialist lecturers. The fact that none of them have given a second thought to the technology buzzing away in the building, is a tribute to the success of the installation.

ABB ( is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

Contact information

Technology Media Relations
Reiner Schoenrock
Phone: +41 43 317 7111
ABB Ltd. 
Affolternstrasse 44 
8050 Zurich

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