ABB is expanding its manufacturing capabilities to keep up with the increase in demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The company has just begun construction on a new facility in San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy.
The 16,000 square metre facility is located in Tuscany, just 30 miles outside Florence, and will be dedicated to producing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The new plant will produce ABB’s entire portfolio of direct current (DC) electric vehicle battery chargers, from domestic systems to systems for installation in public areas and those dedicated to urban public transport. It will also help to further support ABB’s growth and innovation in the e-mobility sector.
Set to be operational by the end of 2021, the new facility in Italy comes at a cost of $30 million. This follows the $10 million investment ABB made in developing a new global e-mobility headquarters and research and development (R&D) centre at the TU Delft Campus, Heertjeslaan, in the Netherlands, which is set to officially launch later this year.
Giampiero Frisio, head of ABB’s Smart Power Division, comments, “Today represents a significant milestone in our e-mobility business. At ABB we have been driving progress in the sector for more than a decade and this new state of the art facility will contribute significantly to further advancing the global move towards zero-emission electric mobility.”
Thanks to ABB’s expertise in other industrial sectors, the e-mobility unit is able to take advantage of some pretty smart technology. That includes the integration of ABB Ability digital solutions. This will allow complete visibility and optimisation of the production of every individual product and interconnect automated warehouse management systems with factory departments. Automated equipment for the assembly of printed circuit boards and monitoring and testing systems will be connected to the factory information system.
R&D activities at the site will take place in a dedicated 3,200sqm space for development and prototyping. They will focus on the implementation of innovative solutions, new software and product life cycle management tools to fully integrate R&D activities with manufacturing activities, both internally and with external electronic manufacturing services.
Meanwhile, the integration of renewable energy sources such as solar panels on the roof, an optimized heating and cooling system and the introduction of an electric fleet of vehicles for employees, logistics, sales and service teams will help to reduce the environmental impact of the facility.
Frank Muehlon, Head of ABB’s global business for E-mobility Infrastructure Solutions, concludes, “As global demand for sustainable transport continues to increase this new facility will ensure that ABB can meet that demand and remains the go to provider for our end to end e-mobility solutions.”