ABB Opens New Extension of Industry 4.0 Center

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz led inauguration of ABB’s extension of training center. At the same time, the event also marked the start of the new training year for the company’s apprentices.

The German Chancellor saw first-hand ABB’s “Learning Factory Industry 4.0” in this new multifunctional building. Particularly, the training center is transforming the education and training opportunities for technology companies not only for ABB but also for its partner companies.

This year, the ABB training center in Berlin is welcoming an additional 205 apprentices in 17 different apprenticeships, who will learn the skills that will set them up for success in an Industry 4.0 world.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaking with ABB apprenticeship trainers on his tour through the new “Learning Factory Industry 4.0” with ABB’s Chairman Peter Voser and Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area and Member of the Executive Committee.

Industrialization Starts With Training

During his visit, the Chancellor saw the benefits of ABB’s strategy to regularly modernize its two German training centers in Heidelberg and Berlin, which ensures that every cohort of apprentices is supported by the latest technologies and equipment.

“The ABB training center is a real flagship for our globally respected dual education. The most important future investment of ABB and its partner companies is in the qualification of their skilled workers and thus in the future of their companies,” said Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Moreover, ABB’s “Learning Factory Industry 4.0” is the centerpiece of the new building, with cutting-edge training facilities that prepare trainees for the digital future of manufacturing.

Peter Voser, Chairman of the Board at ABB, said, “I expect a re-industrialization of Europe, driven by two factors: the need for shorter, more resilient supply chains, and rapidly growing demand for what’s known as mass customization…” Voser said, “This can only happen if we train the next generation of employees to become highly qualified specialists. It’s this investment in training that allows us at ABB to both innovate and operate profitably in Germany – now and in the future.”

In addition, Voser said, “We have created a training center here in Berlin that prepares apprentices for the industry needs of tomorrow. This benefits not only us at ABB, but also our partner companies. By working together, we will remain competitive and make an important contribution to broadening the talent pool of Germany’s workforce.”

Some 359 apprentices are starting their training program at ABB in Germany.

Peter Voser and Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area, and Member of the Executive Committee, gave Chancellor Olaf Scholz a tour of a learning factory. The learning factory resembles highly automated industrial plants and gives apprentices a holistic understanding of digitally networked production processes. In addition, the trainees produce a model of an ABB Formula E racing car at the plant.

Tackles Digitization, Industry 4.0

ABB officials briefed the Chancellor how the new generation at the plant learns to monitor networked systems and to rectify any faults that occur in the production process themselves. Overall, the learning factory makes it possible to integrate key topics such as digitization and Industry 4.0 into training in a practical way.

ABB estimated the investment volume for the multifunctional building at around €7 million. Particularly, the state of Berlin helped fund the center extension, with subsidies of around €6.2 million.

In the new training year, 359 talents will start an apprenticeship or dual-study program at ABB. Moreover, around 205 of them will start in Berlin while 154 will in the second training center, the ABB training center Heidelberg. All other new entrants will complete their training at other ABB locations in Germany.

Currently, ABB is training 680 young people across all training years in Berlin. In Heidelberg there are 421. Nationwide, a total of 1,153 young people are undergoing training at ABB, of which 789 are being trained by ABB for around 250 partner companies.