Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge teams up with ABB to lead the future of energy management

Posted on 25 May 2022 by The Manufacturer

Amid rising energy costs, reducing emissions and meeting environmental targets, IfM Engage, part of the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge and global technology company ABB have teamed up to develop a blueprint for better ways of working that look at technology challenges processes and people to plan purposeful change. 

The World Bank warned in 2021 that energy prices were expected to average more than 80 per cent higher compared to 2020 and remain at high levels in 2022. The current geopolitical climate has subsequently caused unprecedented changes in energy security with the World Bank estimating energy prices will rise more than 50% in 2022. This has caused a fundamental shift in the speed at which governments and businesses wish to move away from reliance on fossil fuels and reduce fuel consumption.  

In response to the energy crisis, ABB Electrification is collaborating with experts from IfM Engage to develop a roadmap that takes a strategic approach to improving energy management, breaking down the complex changes involved into manageable steps and building a plan for purposeful change. Reviewing processes, resources and capabilities and building on tools such as road-mapping supports the most effective change.  

“Sometimes organizations make the mistake of looking at what technologies can help them to ‘go digital’, without considering the broader context including where value can be created and what pain points could benefit most from digitalization. Do not build on the status quo but think about your ideal future scenario – then develop a roadmap for your digital transformation,” said Dr Clemens Chaskel, Industrial Associate, IfM Engage. It’s not the technology that makes your digital transformation successful, but it’s how it is applied during road-mapping, the vital component is establishing connections between those strategic elements to ensure that every item on the roadmap has a purpose.”  

“IfM Engage and ABB developed a roadmap that will improve our technology strategy, R&D projects, customer deliverables and anticipate future trends, which has the potential to shape the energy management systems of the future. The next step is to turn this blueprint into real world actions,” said Giampiero Frisio, ABB Smart Power Division President.  

“By working with experts from the University of Cambridge, we secured our long-term trajectory for the evolution of the ABB Ability Energy Manager. We know we have a coherent and original strategy to support customers in cutting operational costs, reducing emissions and meeting environmental targets,” added Giuseppe Casagrande, ABB Smart Power Division Digital Leader. 

Andi Jones, Industrial Associate, IfM Engage, said: “It was exciting to work with ABB on a project that could have such a significant impact. We were able to use collective knowledge from across ABB to create a coherent technology strategy that will address some of the significant energy management challenges we all face in the future.”  

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