Separated by around 200 kilometers and 24 hours, new facilities at ABB's sites in Brno, in the south of the Czech Republic, and Trutnov in the country's north were inaugurated on two consecutive days, April 22 and 23. Enhancing the power footprint, both sites share the aim of expanding ABB's organic growth momentum and increasing competitiveness, objectives that are in line with ABB's Next Level strategy.
The inauguration events saw the unveiling of new production facilities: a factory for air-insulated medium-voltage switchgear and production area for instrument transformers in Brno, and a production facility for substation automation systems in Trutnov. ABB invested around $50 million in the new units, which have been constructed to meet the highest environmental standards. The facilities build on ABB's wide production base and expertise, as well as the creation of employment and training opportunities in the area.
The new facility in Brno is one of the most-advanced plants of its kind in the world, covering a production area of approximately 13,000 square meters. The new unit for instrument transformers houses fully automated and semi-automated lines for casting instrument transformers, deploying state-of-the-art ABB robots. The six-axes robot has a unique grab which allows it to handle molds for the casting process and clean the casting machine.
Speaking at the inauguration, Bernhard Jucker, President and global head of ABB's Power Products division, said: "Following the opening of our high-voltage components facility here last year, today's inauguration further strengthens our regional and global manufacturing footprint and enables us to be a partner of choice to our customers. These state-of-the-art production facilities also employ Lean manufacturing principles, enhancing productivity and competitiveness."
The expansion of the Trutnov facilities involves a move from the city center to the Krkonošská industrial zone. The 8,500-square-meter greenfield campus comprises production, engineering and testing facilities, and is home to ABB's largest European engineering center for substation controls and automation. The team there also develops applications that respond to the evolving power market needs, for example in cyber security, smart grid and smart lighting.
"The expansion of our production in Trutnov will help boost capacity and strengthen our substation automation business," said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB's Power Systems division. "It supports our enhanced focus on power automation and contributes to our profitable and sustainable growth."
ABB employs more than 3,400 people in eight locations across the Czech Republic and has a production base that includes seven manufacturing facilities, four research and development centers and two engineering centers. The company has a long history in the country dating back more than two decades, with both the Brno and Trutnov sites becoming part of ABB in the 1990s, and these inaugurations represent the latest chapter in the company's expansion.