ABB CEO: IoT-based technologies key for manufacturers to win in the digitalized economy

2016-11-07 - Shanghai, November 6, 2016

ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer today shared his insights about how Shanghai’s industry could grasp the opportunities of the internet era for future success at the 28th annual meeting of the International Business Leaders Advisory Council (IBLAC) for the Mayor of Shanghai.

In his report titled “Enabling Shanghai’s industry to win in the digitalized economy”, Spiesshofer advised China’s economic hub to focus on raising the awareness of the potential of Internet of Things (IoT)-based technologies, as the city prepares for a transition to the industry of future.

He cited a research by Accenture, which indicates that the deployment of internet technologies in the manufacturing and process industries will provide the greatest economic benefits for China, where almost half of the gross domestic product comes from manufacturing. Although manufacturing represents a smaller proportion of Shanghai’s economy, “but at 30 percent of GDP it remains a pillar of the city’s prosperity and will continue to play an important role for the foreseeable future.” Spiesshofer said.

Spiesshofer acclaimed that the China central government has been quick to recognize the potential of the internet to achieve its goal of accelerating innovation and productivity in industry, with the Made in China 2025 initiative and the Internet Plus strategy designed to strengthen the framework conditions for industrial companies to join the internet economy.

While manufacturers have started deploying IoT technologies, many are still uncertain about the value they can derive from them, Spiesshofer said, adding the government shall raise awareness among industry in this regard.

He cited ABB’s global experience, including a remote control center for robots in India, to show how ABB’s offering ABB Ability for advancing digital industry, can bring about increased productivity, quality, customer satisfaction and safety.

From the Bengaluru-based center of competence, ABB is monitoring more than 5,000 industrial robots. By comparing operational data from robots in comparable applications, specialists at the center are able to predict when maintenance is required. In this way, equipment failures and unexpected downtime are reduced and plants become more productive.

Spiesshofer said he’s impressed by Shanghai government’s effort in encouraging industrial companies to join the internet economy, noting that the city is one of the few municipalities to have launched a follow-up to the central government’s initiatives.
“Shanghai is starting from a very strong position and, by focusing on raising awareness, labor skill development, financial support and cyber security, has every chance of leading the transition to the industry of the future,” Spiesshofer said.

Shanghai is a key base for ABB in China. ABB’s first joint venture in Shanghai was set up in 1994. Today, ABB has 4,600 employees, one branch and seven local enterprises in Shanghai. ABB has also set up 10 global business centers in the city, including ABB Robotics Global R&D Center and ABB global manufacturing base for its marine propulsion system, providing comprehensive support for the development of ABB global businesses.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 18,000 employees, 40 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 147 cities.

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