Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, teams up with ABB

ABB manufacturing

Rising energy costs, reducing emissions and meeting environmental targets all need a change in energy management. IfM Engage, part of the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge and ABB have teamed up to develop a blueprint for better ways of working that look at technology, challenges, processes and people to plan purposeful change.

The World Bank warned in 2021 that energy prices were expected to average more than 80% higher compared to 2020 and remain at high levels in 20221. The current geopolitical climate has subsequently caused unprecedented changes in energy security with the World Bank estimating energy prices will rise more than 50% in 20222. This has caused a fundamental shift in the speed at which governments and businesses wish to move away from reliance on fossil fuels and reduce fuel consumption.

In response to the energy crisis, ABB Electrification is collaborating with experts from IfM Engage3 to develop a roadmap that takes a strategic approach to improving energy management, breaking down the complex changes involved into manageable steps and building a plan for purposeful change. Reviewing processes, resources and capabilities and building on tools such as road-mapping supports the most effective change.

“Sometimes organisations make the mistake of looking at what technologies can help them to ‘go digital’, without considering the broader context including where value can be created and what pain points could benefit most from digitalisation. Do not build on the status quo but think about your ideal future scenario – then develop a roadmap for your digital transformation,” says Dr Clemens Chaskel, Industrial Associate, IfM Engage. It’s not the technology that makes your digital transformation successful, but it’s how it is applied. During road-mapping, the vital component is establishing connections between those strategic elements to ensure that every item on the roadmap has a purpose.”

“IfM Engage and ABB developed a roadmap that will improve our technology strategy, R&D projects, customer deliverables and anticipate future trends, which has the potential to shape the energy management systems of the future. The next step is to turn this blueprint into real world actions,” comments Giampiero Frisio, ABB Smart Power Division President.

“By working with experts from the University of Cambridge, we secured our long-term trajectory for the evolution of the ABB Ability Energy Manager. We know we have a coherent and original strategy to support customers in cutting operational costs, reducing emissions and meeting environmental targets,” adds Giuseppe Casagrande, ABB Smart Power Division Digital Leader.

Andi Jones, Industrial Associate, IfM Engage, says: “It was exciting to work with ABB on a project that could have such a significant impact. We were able to use collective knowledge from across ABB to create a coherent technology strategy that will address some of the significant energy management challenges we all face in the future.”

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