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ABB’s propulsion factory in Shanghai marks 10-years
(Posted on 20/12/21)
ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion, introduced 30 years ago, has revolutionized the marine transport with its unparalleled maneuverability and efficiency. First seen on cruise ships and icebreakers, Azipod technology has developed to meet the needs of over 25 vessel types over the years.
To meet the growing demand for high-end vessels, ABB founded the Shanghai Azipod propulsion factory in 2011. Over 10 years, the Shanghai factory has applied advanced technologies for both local and global customers. In addition, ABB has plants at two locations in Finland, namely Hamina and Helsinki, delivering larger Azipod units.
ABB’s Shanghai plant is dedicated to Azipod propulsors of 7.5 megawatts and below. With a compact design and excellent maneuverability, Azipod® units delivered from the Shanghai plant are ideally suited to small and medium-sized ships. These units are widely deployed and feature on some of the world’s most environmentally friendly vessels. By leveraging an innovative hybrid cooling system, the performance of the motor can be enhanced up to 45 percent.
Expanding on its service offering to customers in China and throughout Asia, ABB has established a new maintenance and repair workshop in Shanghai to enhance support to locally operated vessels equipped with its Azipod systems. The new facility, which features a 90-ton crane along with a specialized platform and tools, will significantly reduce maintenance and repair turnaround times while upholding ABB’s best-in-class service standards. Additionally, Shanghai Marine Academy, launched in 2019, offers an Azipod system technical training in response to requests from Asia-based customers. “This year, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of our Shanghai plant as the number of ships with Azipod propulsion systems continues to grow,” said Kerry Yang, Division Manager, ABB Marine & Ports in China. “The new service workshop is a strong indication of our confidence that the coming decades will be at least as rewarding as the first.”
“ABB is committed to offering the highest standards in Azipod propulsion systems and service worldwide,” said Antti Ruohonen, Head of Marine Propulsion, ABB Marine & Ports. “To facilitate this, our Shanghai and Finland factories share a global expertise: technical teams in China and Finland collaborate closely to develop, design and verify every Azipod unit, while project managers globally oversee the process from start to finish.
With the electric drive motor housed within a pod outside the ship hull, Azipod units can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability and allowing even the largest vessels to dock in smaller harbors. Azipod propulsion also improves a ship’s hydrodynamic performance and cuts fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared with a shaftline setups. In addition, space saved by locating the motor outside the ship allows more flexible design and frees up space for cabins, cargo or other features.
ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels.
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