South Devon College and ABB announce partnership to boost technology education

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ABB is providing the latest automation and control technologies together with a series of educational wall displays for South Devon College’s new Hi Tech Digital Centre.

Opening in September 2019, the £17 million centre will provide advanced facilities for apprentices and students studying technology, manufacturing, digital and creative courses in Torbay and the surrounding area.

ABB is a pioneering technology leader that works closely with utility, industry, transport and infrastructure customers in over 100 countries. Its UK headquarters in Warrington, Cheshire is supported by 20 locations nationwide and 3,000 employees.

The partnership between the College and ABB will give students hands on experience of some of the latest automation and control technologies and an insight into how they are helping enterprises realise the power and efficiencies of today’s digital transformation. A dedicated classroom will feature 10 control panels, each housing an ABB motor and drive, programmable logic controller (PLC) and human-machine interface (HMI). Each control panel will be used by students to design and program various control scenarios devised by the lecturing staff. The partnership includes firmware updates on all ABB supplied equipment as required and further technical training for college staff on automation software.

In addition, a hub used for business meetings, student presentations to local employers and employer open days, is to be branded with the ABB Ability™ digital messaging. ABB Ability™ is the company‘s unified, cross-industry digital offering — extending from device to edge to cloud. It connects customers to the power of the Industrial Internet of Things and, through its services and expertise, turns data insights into useable information that “closes the loop” across many processes. With more than four decades at the forefront of digital technologies, ABB has an installed base of more than 70,000 control systems connecting 70 million devices.

“ABB is a successful company in the South West of England,” says Stuart Melling, ABB’s Business Unit Manager, Drives UK. “Our investment in supporting South Devon College demonstrates our commitment to support local business and the academic community. It reinforces our desire to develop engineers of tomorrow by supporting training using the latest technology available.

“ABB’s expertise in advanced automation, control, instrumentation, electrification products and motion control systems will help the College deliver top class training in these technologies for South Devon College’s engineering apprentices and students.”

Based at the College’s Paignton campus, the Centre will include software development suites, CAD and PLC suites, an Innovation Centre and a 100-seat auditorium.

Steve Caunter, Assistant Principal, says “The success of this partnership will have a massive impact on the skills and knowledge development of the future generation and the current work force exposing engineering and technologists to cutting edge technology. This is an exciting opportunity and one that we are looking forward to developing further.”

If you would like to discuss how you can be involved with the exciting opportunities at the Hi Tech Digital Centre, including sponsorship opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact the team on HTDC@southdevon.ac.uk.

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