ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced today that its new generator circuit breaker (GCB) factory in Switzerland has been voted European factory of the year (Die Beste Fabrik 2010) at the recently held ‘Best Factory Conference’ organized by the German business journal, Wirtschaftswoche.
The selection jury includes industry specialists and leading academics from leading international business schools, including INSEAD and WHU (Otto Beisheim School of Management).
Efficiency and productivity were among the award's main evaluation criteria. The jury was particularly impressed by the ABB factory's innovative business model and enthusiastic involvement of the entire staff.They praised its layout, ergonomically designed work stations and state-of-the-art logistics systems.
ABB modernized and streamlined production processes at the new GCB factory to increase both productivity and manufacturing capacity. Compared to the old production site nearby, factory space was halved, production capacity doubled and delivery time reduced from weeks to days.
The entire production process is based on the ‘lean enterprise’ concept, where products and processes are continuously optimized to reduce key input requirements like time, space and capital. Flow production principles help optimize the use of space and time, and process efficiencies are built into the entire production and logistics chain, from suppliers to end users.
This approach leads to significantly shorter lead times, shorter cycle times and stock reduction, all contributing to improved efficiency and productivity.
ABB is the world’s largest supplier of generator circuit breakers. These essential devices protect large power plants by immediately cutting of a circuit in the event of fault currents, thereby isolating damage and protecting the generator, transformers and other core devices.
“At ABB, we are driven by a culture of technology and innovation with operational excellence embedded in our businesses,” said Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s high voltage business, a part of the company’s power products division. ”The GCB team has been working on a comprehensive program called ‘fit for the future’ and have proved their point with these remarkable results”.
The new factory will also house an advanced high-voltage test laboratory, formerly located in separate premises nearby, and will be capable of testing equipment with nominal voltage levels up to 1,100 kilovolts (kV) gas insulated and up to 800 kV air insulated.
ABB (abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people.