Making trains fly in China

2015-06-05 - ABB comes off to a flying start in China with a new factory in Shanghai and a first order for up to 700 traction motors to the Qingdao urban rail transit system.

In March, ABB landed a contract to deliver motors in China. Production in the new Shanghai factory will take off with a first order for up to 700 motors to power an urban rail transit system in the province of Qingdao. The contract means ABB’s traction motor production in China will come off to a flying start, in line with ABB’s brand platform ‘Making trains fly’.

“Our long-term objective is to implement a nationwide expansion strategy, where ABB will increase its presence in China with full manufacturing, service and support,” said Magnus Johansson, Sales and Marketing Manager at ABB in Västerås, Sweden.

‘Making trains fly’ is ABB’s brand platform for marketing its high-efficiency, optimized traction motors. Motors such as these will drive the new trains in Qingdao. ABB is able to optimize motors based on the operational requirements of the motors and the train in which they are operated. The result is propulsion with outstanding efficiency.

“Every train is unique. Not just the train type, but also the conditions in which the train operates. For example, an inner-city tram in a hot climate zone is optimized very differently from a diesel-electric locomotive in Siberia,” explains Magnus Johansson.

By commencing manufacturing in China, ABB is leading the way in the development of modern traction motor technology in the country. Optimizing the first motors for Qingdao’s rail transit system means ABB’s manufacturing will come off to a flying start, while the Chinese train industry is making a firm environmental statement.

ABB has established a strategic partnership with Qingdao Hongpu Electrical Technology Co., Ltd. The two parties will work closely in the production and sales of traction motors to deliver local assembly and service for ABB traction motors in Qingdao.

The first shipments will give Qingdao one of the highest concentrations of ABB’s optimized motors in the world. ABB expects further infrastructure investment in China to generate many more orders in the coming years.

“Once inside China, the Chinese market opens up in a totally new way. And the potential is of course huge,” said Magnus Johansson.

The more traction motors that are optimized for maximum energy efficiency, the higher the total energy savings. As Chinese train projects are now turning to optimized motors, it may trigger a nationwide shift to energy-efficient motors change that can have major long-term environmental effects.

“A large part of all electric energy produced in China comes from fossil fuels. Our motors can cut a train’s energy consumption substantially, so a large-scale implementation throughout the country will have a major effect on the release of greenhouse gases,” Magnus continues.

”We hope our increased presence in China will raise awareness just how big the energy-saving potential really is. With large sales volume in China, our motors would create a measureable effect on the whole nation’s carbon emissions,” concluded Magnus Johansson.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.

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