ABB Finland opens a test laboratory for the maritime industry in Helsinki

ABB Finland is investing in a new test laboratory for maritime industry solutions and systems in Helsinki. The laboratory will serve the company’s maritime industry business research and product development, and will be located next to ABB’s Azipod® propeller system factory in Vuosaari. The reasons behind the significant investment are the strong growth of ABB Finland’s business in the maritime industry and the need to test major steering and monitoring systems in the company’s own premises.

“We are constantly testing and developing something new. The laboratory is a great step forward and enables integrated innovation and quality because all of our maritime industry systems can be tested and developed at the same location,” says Mikko Lepistö, who is responsible for ABB’s software and automation business.

ABB’s maritime industry solutions optimize vessel operations and performance, improving energy efficiency, the reliability and functionality of equipment, and operational safety. Product development is guided by customer needs.

“We are developing the products and systems together with the customers, in a user-centred way. Simplification is the key concept today. As systems become combined, this requires broader, all-encompassing understanding from us, where the testing and the role of the user are at the centre. In short, our task is to make the work of the vessel operator as easy as possible,” says Antti Matilainen, ABB’s R&D Manager, Control Solutions, Vessel Information and Control.

The laboratory will also act as a showroom for ABB’s maritime industry automation solutions. The laboratory can be linked to a ship simulator where the ship’s operations using ABB’s systems can be simulated directly from the laboratory.

“With digitalization it is possible to remotely follow whole fleets by utilizing cloud services. When we can optimally utilize the data collected with the help of the automation systems, this will save both costs and the environment. Industrial Internet will also open completely new opportunities for developing the service business in the maritime industry,” says Lepistö.

ABB Finland’s Marine and Ports Unit in Vuosaari, Helsinki, develops electrification and automation solutions for the needs of the maritime industry. ABB Finland is responsible for ABB’s global R&D. Worldwide, ABB’s business with the maritime industry employs 1700 people in 19 countries. In Finland the business employs 380 people, of which 30 are in R&D.

The opening of the laboratory was celebrated at ABB on 7 October.


ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people, with 5200 in Finland.