Arnon - SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS THROUGH COOPERATION

SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS THROUGH COOPERATION


In addition to providing keys for sustainable development as a technology leader, ABB is strongly building a better tomorrow in its own operations. Arnon joined ABB’s official partnership programme in autumn 2019. According to Pekka Tiitinen, Country Managing Director Finland at ABB, the cooperation has created added value for all the parties also in the form of sustainable solutions.

Text: ARNON Picture: ABB

For ABB, which operates in more than one hundred countries, participating in the development of a more sustainable society is in the company’s DNA. The company wants to lead by example and encourage others to do business in a more ecologically, economically and socially sustainable way. The Group’s objectives for transitioning to sustainable electricity and the electrification of the company’s vehicle fleet by 2030 have already been reached in Finland. Gender-neutral parental leaves are being introduced in the entire Group at the end of this year. The biggest actions for sustainable development are, however, implemented through ABB’s customers.

– Curbing climate change without major cuts in standards of living require a global electrification. Since the consumption of electricity continues to increase, smarter, more energy efficient and cost efficient solutions are needed. Saving energy often simply means doing things more rationally, says Tiitinen.

“Development work done in cooperation with our customers plays a very important role in the creation of new solutions.“

SAVINGS FROM THE DRIVES OF ELECTRIC MOTORS

According to Tiitinen, the biggest energy savings in Finland can be obtained in the industry, which is responsible for more than half of the electricity consumption in Finland.

– Finland is the Silicon Valley of heavy industry. Half of the electricity is used in electric motors, making the energy efficiency of motors highly significant. In some applications, large energy savings can be made by simply introducing an electric motor with better frequency converter, Tiitinen explains.

– In Finland, smart drive of the motor has long been normal, but in large parts of the world motors continue to run at full capacity all the time, with valves controlling the current. This is like running a car at full throttle all the time and controlling the speed by pressing the brakes: the result is heavy energy consumption, Tiitinen says.

“Saving energy often simply means doing things more rationally.”

In addition to electric motors, ABB has been supplying a range of energy-saving solutions around the world for companies of various sizes and operating in different industries.

– The solution may be as simple as regulating the pressure of water supplied to the water network by the customer. To improve energy efficiency, pumps are used at lower capacity during the night when the demand for water is lower and a lower pressure is therefore sufficient. The ventilation of buildings can also be adjusted according to use.

Interesting new opportunities can be found in mining, for instance. We are supplying trolley lines to mines, allowing the mine trucks to run on emission-free electricity instead of trundling uphill on big diesel engines, Tiitinen says by way of some examples.

– Robotics also play a role in sustainable solutions. Robots can, for example, take care of tasks that are too heavy or too dangerous for people. ABB developed the world’s first electric robot in 1974, and by now, ABB’s robots have participated in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, for example.

ELECTRICITY ON THE GROUND, AT SEA AND IN THE AIR

According to Tiitinen, in addition to energy efficiency, future sustainable development megatrends include carbon-free processes, heat pumps, temporal optimisation of electric propulsion as well as electric traffic.

– Traffic will become electric; the only question is how long that will take. The required technology already exists for a lot of changes, and we are actively involved in this development. For example, ABB has already transformed a ferry running between Denmark and Sweden into an electric ferry. When the ferry docks, a robot attaches a cable and the ferry is charged during unloading and loading. The same can be done for the ferries running between Helsinki and Tallinn. In spite of the numerous sceptics, shortdistance air traffic will also turn electric. Many found the idea of electric cars just as questionable thirty years ago, Tiitinen points out.

INVESTING IN SUCCESS

ABB did not become a leader in sustainable development solutions by accident. In Finland, approximately one thousand ABB employees work in research and product development.

– We are one of the biggest R&D investors in Finland, continuously investing big in research and collaborating with university research centres. Development work done in cooperation with our customers also plays a very important role in the creation of new solutions. We must understand what the customer needs to be able to do the right things, Tiitinen emphasizes. In addition to customers, ABB also works in close cooperation with its Value Provider partners.

– No one can be the best in everything alone. Specialising and finding a partner that is the best in something else brings better results than just doing many things with mediocre success. Arnon’s particular competence lies in original OEM manufacturing, whereas we support Arnon with our product portfolio and by supplying components to our shared end customers. We understand each other’s needs in terms of customers and applications. We achieve significantly more by working together, Tiitinen says.

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