ABB opens Digital Solutions Centre in Johannesburg to help drive Southern Africa’s digital transformation

  • New centre to help companies plan and implement their digital transformation journeys
  • ABB to work with customers and partners to co-create custom-tailored digital solution
  • Major focus on industry and utilities, remote support and augmented reality technology

ABB unveiled its new Southern Africa Digital Solutions Centre on 9 September 2021, which aims to help companies across industries to overcome their most pressing technology and digitalisation challenges.

The centre, at ABB’s Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg, gives customers in the energy, mining and minerals resources, manufacturing, process industries, transportation and utilities sectors the opportunity to co-develop solutions that take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation to unlock lasting business value.

“The new centre is the only one of its kind in Africa and represents a significant commitment to South Africa and the wider region as growth markets and an important customer base,” said John Manuell, Local Division Manager for Process Industries, ABB South Africa. “Most industries and sectors are going through a rapid transformation that is being enabled by digital technologies. The Digital Solutions Centre strengthens our capacity to serve and support customers with technologies and capabilities that are key to the digital transformation of their operations.”

It will help customers to take major leaps in productivity and efficiency, driving competitiveness, quality, and security, through smart grid technology, electrification of all points of energy consumption and advanced automation solutions. It offers customers the ability to experience ABB’s digital solutions, advanced automation and 24/7 control room solutions in a fully equipped environment, encountering and solving challenging real-life scenarios. Once customers understand their business priorities and challenges, the centre allows them to experience how ABB Ability™ solutions can unlock value across their entire value chain.

Remote support is going to be a major feature, with ABB Ability™ Remote Insights for service allowing customers to remotely connect with ABB’s global experts using a laptop, tablet or mobile. This will help businesses save on maintenance costs, reduce downtime, and increase safety in their operations. Remote access platform services allow experts to access plant data remotely to analyse equipment and plant behaviour and recommend corrective actions.

Another focus is what ABB calls ‘the control room of the future’. Here, customers can actively participate in designing their control room and experience how the space will be utilised in virtual reality before it is even constructed or delivered on site. “Studies indicate that up to 40 percent of unplanned downtime can be associated with operator error. Therefore, it is crucial to create an optimal environment that provides the necessary information and tools, putting the operator in focus,” said Manuell.

The centre’s ‘mine of the future’ will be of particular interest to the country’s mining industry. McKinsey estimates that mine digitalisation could save $373 billion globally by 2025 by raising productivity, reducing waste, and keeping mines safe. The digital solutions presented at the centre are embedded under the ABB Ability™ MineOptimize portfolio, which provides mine operators with a suite of digitally connected solutions, products, and collaborative services, to unify and optimize the lifecycle of a mine and ensure that the right people have the right information at the right time. Through the recently launched ABB Ability™ eMine portfolio, ABB brings together electrification, automation, and digital technology like no other company. By digitally connecting all solutions, they can be monitored and controlled to optimize operations and energy usage in real time. The digital offering for Ability™ eMine™ is focused around four pillars; power and process control, power and energy management, electrical asset performance management; mine operations management.

A virtual replica of the Digital Solutions Centre will be available from 10 September 2021 – 8 October 2021 and can be experienced here: For customers who are interested in visiting the room physically, on-site visits are available to a limited number of guests at a time in line with COVID-19 protocols. Visits can be arranged through ABB Sales Representatives.

Customers will be able to attend a range of webinars and workshops designed to reveal the digital maturity level of an organisation, either at site or enterprise level. The most intensive of these are the Co-Creation Workshops, a workshop format ranging from one to four hours up to up to five days. In these workshops, once a customer’s digital maturity is established, ideas and requirements are outlined and further specified, tested, and evaluated. ABB then works with the customer to define follow-up plans as a deliverable.

“This centre was developed for our customers to bring collaboration and co-creation to new levels,” said Shiven Sukraj, Local Division Manager for Energy Industries, South Africa. “ABB’s technologies are driving industrial productivity and contributing to South Africa’s innovation ecosystem in so many ways. Through deeper collaboration with customers and partners, we want to develop powerful solutions that add measurable business value and do our part to drive South Africa into the digital economy.”

For more information, view the Digital Solutions Centre launch video here:

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.

For more information please contact:

Media Relations

Ofentse Dijoe

Phone: +27 (0) 010 202 5105


Issued by ByDesign Communications on behalf of ABB

 Nhlanhla Kubeka

 +27 (0)79 847 8975



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