What Can ABB’s Latest Technology Do For Scotland?

Ian Funnell of ABB UK, addressed an audience of more than 100 legislators and senior executives attending the company’s first reception for members of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood on 29th November 2016.

The theme of the gathering was, “Delivering a Sustainable Energy Strategy for Scotland”, a reference to the government’s objective of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of the country’s power from renewable sources by 2020.

ABB has been at the forefront of Scotland’s renewable installation drive. Ian told audiences that the Scottish Government can assist this process by longer-term planning, so they know which of ABB’s technologies will bring the biggest benefits to Scotland. This shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge as Scotland has already reduced its carbon emissions by 45 percent, meeting the 2020 target six years early.

To give the guests an insight into those innovative technologies, ABB offered a virtual tour of its “digital substation” concept using Oculus Rift technology. These state of the art substations are smaller, cheaper and technically superior to conventional units, and improve the overall performance of electricity grids in which they are installed.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP takes a virtual reality tour of a digital substation demonstrated by ABB apprentice Kyle McPartlin
Paul Wheelhouse MSP takes a virtual reality tour of a digital substation demonstrated by ABB apprentice Kyle McPartlin

The other item on ABB’s agenda was the drive to improve the productivity of Scotland’s manufacturing industries. The company intends to do this by delivering the “4th industrial revolution”, that is, super-efficient automation solutions based on smart equipment linked by the industrial internet of things.

Ian also informed guests that ABB was in a unique position to drive innovation as it had an installed base of more than 70,000 control systems connecting 70 million devices. The aim being to ensure that all the relevant data to help manufacturers operate more reliably, efficiently, productively and sustainably, is not only collected but fully analysed and acted on to improve operations.

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