ABB builds on a strong 40-year foundation in Thailand

Shaping a digital future and driving progress with its pioneering technologies

With 40 years of successful operations in Thailand to its credit, ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids serving customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure globally.

ABB is currently writing a brighter future for the digital industrial era, developing utilities from power generation, transmission and distribution for consumers everywhere. In addition, ABB is strengthening industry capabilities with an automation system based on natural raw materials for production and finished products in this fourth industrial revolution, which is in line with the new economic model Thailand 4.0.

ABB factory at Bangpoo Industrial Estate, Samut Prakan province
ABB factory at Bangpoo Industrial Estate, Samut Prakan province

Chaiyot Piyawannarat, ABB's Managing Director for Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, reveals that in its 40 years of doing business in Thailand since 1978, ABB has gained strong support from organizations in the electricity and energy sector. In 1990, ABB received investment promotional incentives from the Board of Investment (BoI) for the establishment of the first manufacturing plant to produce Low Voltage Capacitors and Power Transformers. Located on a 30-rai plot in Bang Poo Industrial Estate, Samut Prakan Province, the plant supplies products within Thailand and exports to South Asia and the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand. “This important step has helped substitute imports while generating more than a billion baht in revenue from exports annually. Over the years, ABB has transferred skills and technological expertise to Thai employees and today the plant is managed by an all-Thai staff,” he said.

In addition, ABB has a robot application center, switchgear manufacturing plant, 8 service branches across Thailand as well as marketing representative offices in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

Towards a smarter, greener grid

ABB supplies integrated power management solutions for public and private power producers from generation, transformation to distribution systems, water works, wastewater treatment as well as irrigation systems. ABB has developed digital solutions based on the common platform ABB Ability™, which is ABB’s unified, cross-industry, digital offering and can link the functions of various devices including related software, enabling customers to modernize their production process through in-depth information and big data. These developments will help customers improve their operating plans and strengthen control in real-time operations.

ABB Ability™ Power Transformer
ABB Ability™ Power Transformer

In April 2018, ABB launched the world’s first integrated solution for digitally enabled power transformers at the Hanover Fair in Germany. This latest innovation uses digital technology to develop a transformer system, offering inspection and analysis of variable data in a real-time operating system. The new solution will fundamentally change the transformer model, enhancing reliability and enabling higher utilization of grid assets and power networks.

Meanwhile, ABB is developing new suitable solutions for the production process of renewable energy, which is playing a greater role.

The factory of the future is already here

ABB supports a full range of processing industries and discrete manufacturing industries including petrochemicals, pulp and paper, cement, foods and beverages, and electronics. ABB provides products and solutions as well as services for automated production systems to ensure customers can improve and develop production processes at the highest level of quality and precision. For example, ABB has introduced high-efficiency motors in the IE3 and IE4 class, which are recognized as being of the highest international standard and enable customers to mitigate environmental impacts. And another key innovation is the ABB AbilityTM Smart Sensor which is like a fitness wristband for electric motors. It converts traditional motors, pumps and mounted bearings into smart, wirelessly connected devices, and collect operational data and health information of the motor.

The ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor converts traditional motors into smart, wirelessly connected devices.
The ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor converts traditional motors into smart, wirelessly connected devices.

In addition, ABB is a global leader in variable-speed drives, which are used to control the rotation speed of electric motors to match demands and also lower power usage in industrial plants. Other customers with similar potential for growth include the automobile, food & beverage, electronics and machinery industries. ABB has innovations to help improve efficiency and quality of the F&B industry such as robots, asset management software and IoT solutions.

Sustainable mobility

Another important area is the mass transit system, which is growing due to the development of new routes linking the Central Business Districts with Bangkok's suburban areas. ABB has supplied power equipment to the Mass Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) and State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and this was installed as part of the power supply system of many mass rapid transit lines.

ABB will supply and install four autotransformer-switching stations for the new Red Line elevated rail system in Bangkok.
ABB will supply and install four autotransformer-switching stations for the new Red Line elevated rail system in Bangkok.

Furthermore, ABB is developing technology to support e-mobility in response to the growing demand for EV (Electric vehicles). EV development in Thailand is currently in the trial process. Earlier, ABB contributed its EV fast charger to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority for a feasibility study on Quick Chargers for Electric Vehicles project at MEA in Bang Yai. ABB also contributed the charger to the Engineering Faculty of Chulalongkorn University to enable research on smart grid and smart mobility projects.

ABB is a leader in the development of integrated electric charging technology for cars, buses and hybrid vehicles as well as in power technology for vessels and railways. ABB entered the EV charging market in 2010, and has delivered EV chargers to more than 6,000 stations worldwide.

ABB Terra HP, newest EV charging solution, exhibited at Hannover Fair 2018, Germany
ABB Terra HP, newest EV charging solution, exhibited at Hannover Fair 2018, Germany

Earlier this year, ABB introduced its newest EV charging solution, the Terra HP, as the first 350 kW product in the market, with charging time for a range of 200 kms being just eight minutes.

In addition, ABB entered into a ground-breaking partnership with FIA Formula E in January this year to support e-mobility technology for a sustainable future. The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the world's first fully electric international FIA motorsport series which brings electrifying wheel-to-wheel action to the world's leading cities including New York, Paris, Zurich and Saudi Arabia.

Serving the F&B industry

The food and beverage sector is growing due to Thailand’s plentiful supply of raw materials, while also being one of the 10 target industries supported by the government. The key to its continued growth is increasing value added, thus making it more beneficial to the country as a whole.

Palletizing application solutions for Food and Beverage industry
Palletizing application solutions for Food and Beverage industry

However, the F&B sector faces several challenges. Among them is a shortage of skilled workers, a lack of technological developments at the manufacturing, retail and consumer levels, as well as the ever increasing costs of energy, raw materials and logistics.

Chaiyot says that ABB is placing emphasis on expanding ABB solutions in the F&B industry with the establishment of the F&B Ingredient Center. Located on over 1,000 sqm and part of ABB Manufacturing in Bang Poo Industrial Estate, the center is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2018.

The center offers such F&B players as sugar and rice mills to experience ABB products, technologies and digital solutions that can help each industry improve quality and productivity. ABB is today is a global technology leader in the F&B sector. In April last year, ABB acquired Austria-based B&R, a leading factory automation provider, thus strengthening the ABB Ability™ Platform through a combination of ABB's distributed control systems (DCS) and B&R's Factory automation and IoT solutions.

Robots... the new co-worker of the industrial sector

There is no doubt that robots will play an increasingly important role in industry. Not only do they help resolve problems with a shortage of workers, but robots can also enhance production efficiency through round-the-clock operations. Another factor that is often overlooked is the consistency of product quality, as human error is eliminated.

YuMi®, The world's first truly dual-arm collaborative robot from ABB
YuMi®, The world's first truly dual-arm collaborative robot from ABB

ABB’s YuMi, the world’s first dual-arm collaborative robot, is a cutting edge solution that allows manufacturers to meet flexible and agile production needs while allowing a collaborative working environment with humans.

In Thailand, ABB set up its Robotics Application Center (RAC) in 2011 in Bangpoo Industrial Estate providing a variety of robotic applications and staffed by more than 40 well-trained individuals. The center will provide robotic knowledge to entrepreneurs, public organizations as well as educational institutes, encouraging their awareness of using robots to enhance efficiency in the production process.

In 2017, ABB demonstrated YuMi at the Digital Thailand Big Bang expo held at the Government House.

Chaiyot notes that ABB participated in Propak Asia 2018, the 26th international processing and packaging technology trade show for Asia, which took place from 13-16 June, at BITEC, Bang Na, Bangkok. ABB's robot for automation production was a highlight of the stand, demonstrating applications for picking, packaging and palletizing in the food and beverage industry.

Based on the cloud platform, ABB's connected robot enables customers to utilize big data and perform predictive maintenance for more efficient management.

ABB also offers Manufacturing Execution System (MES), a crucial technology that improves efficiency of product tracking and product planning and thus upgrades the quality of food safety. A solid power management system is an integral part of the food and beverage industry.

Intelligent infrastructure for smart cities

To meet the urban lifestyle, ABB offers a wide range of automation products based on the concept of Smarter Home, Smarter Building, and Smarter Mobility for greater convenience, energy savings and improved safety and thus enhancing quality of life. ABB provides the ABB-free@home system, an automation system in which various functions in the home can be efficiently controlled at the touch of a fingertip through a smartphone and tablet.

The building automation and controls market has seen double digit growth in the past few years
The building automation and controls market has seen double digit growth in the past few years

For example, with the Light Control system, individual rooms or the entire house can be illuminated on demand. ABB’s modern door entry system enables homeowners to see and communicate with visitors via a video outdoor station using the ABB-Welcome app. In addition, ABB offers smart circuit breakers with power controller function, its latest technology for optimized energy management solutions, and solar power solutions for solar installations on residential rooftops.

In addition to houses, ABB provides integrated technology to meet the requirements of smart buildings, especially the fast-growing mixed-use development projects that are springing up all over Thailand. Here ABB solutions ensure appropriate and efficient power management throughout the project – from residential units to offices and retail areas.

40 years of ABB in Thailand

Moving forward, ABB is constantly innovating technologies that will meet the needs of industries transforming their business models. Digitalization will play a vital role in enhancing the efficiency of power management and speeding up operations. ABB aims to develop technologies for industries that will transform Automated Operation into Autonomous Operation based on Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

“As it completes four decades of business success, ABB has been collaborating with individuals, authorities, and organizations, especially customers in the utilities and industrial sectors as well as in the transport and infrastructure sector to support the growth of Thailand’s economy. We will continue to deliver technologies and solutions that enable customers to develop their capabilities and improve competitiveness to ensure sustained profitable growth. We look forward to the next 40 years and beyond of shared growth and success,” concluded Chaiyot.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com

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