Case study

Case: ABB Finland develops world-class technology and solutions

ABB Finland takes responsibility for many of the demanding research and development operations that drive the success of its global parent company.

ABB Finland has an important role in the global parent company as a developer of new technologies and solutions. ABB has developed in Finland the power control and monitoring system in the world’s tallest building, the Azipod propulsion system used to maneuver the world’s largest cruise liners, and the low voltage electric motors for the most demanding explosive atmospheres such as oil and gas industry.

The global ABB Group is a leading power and automation technology company which employs 135,000 people in about 100 countries. ABB Finland operates in 20 locations in Finland and has 5100 employees. In 2015, ABB Finland’s turnover was EUR 2.2 billion and its R&D investments amounted to EUR 138 million. ABB Finland is one of the country’s biggest innovators and developers.

“ABB Finland is a great example of a foreign owned company based in Finland with an extremely important role in the global parent corporation as an innovator and developer of new technologies and high-tech solutions”, says Sari Toivonen, Senior Consultant, Invest in Finland. “Digitalization will strengthen the position of Finland as an excellent location for future smart energy transition R&D and innovation. In Finland we are strong in both energy sector and ICT, this is our great advantage”, says Toivonen.

Trusted expertise from maritime solutions to solar inverters

ABB Finland is tasked with developing ever more energy-efficient and reliable equipment and services as well as automated process systems using the latest technology. For example, ABB Finland’s Marine and Ports Unit in Vuosaari, Helsinki, has global responsibility for R&D into maritime electrification and automation solutions. This is the home of the industry-changing Azipod technology first developed in the early 1990s.

This year ABB Finland has invested in a solar inverter testing laboratory in Helsinki, with a unique weather chamber that can vary temperatures from -40°C degrees to +100°C, and relative humidity levels up to 95 percent. Inverters can now be tested in weather conditions ranging from the Arctic tundra to an equatorial rainforest.

High-tech switches, motors and energy technology from Vaasa

ABB Finland’s factories are located in Hamina, Helsinki, Porvoo and Vaasa. During the past five years ABB has invested about EUR 30 million in developing motor production in Vaasa, western Finland. ABB’s almost completely automated and robotized switch factory in Vaasa accounts for the manufacturing, product development as well as the sales and marketing of low voltage switch products for ABB globally. Vaasa’s factories are also responsible for producing ABB’s low voltage motors used in explosive atmospheres.

ABB Finland is also an active player in Vaasa’s energy cluster which is the largest concentration of energy technology in the Nordic countries. More than 70% of the cluster’s products and services go for export, which is a telling example of the competitive technology know-how and dynamic R&D environment Finland offers to international companies.