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Visit Results In Design Edge For Wellington Co.

19 July 2002
Visit Results In Design Edge For Wellington Company

An Industry New Zealand-supported research trip to Bangladesh has allowed a Wellington company to gain a design edge in their manufacture of power networks monitoring equipment for third world conditions.

Abbey Systems managing director Lester Abbey said the company is now designing a new component for their Remote Terminal Units (RTU) that will make them simpler, more cost effective and requiring minimal technical skills to run.

Abbey Systems design and manufacture equipment for monitoring high voltage electricity substations and their transmission lines.

With funding through Industry New Zealand¡¦s World Class New Zealanders programme, Lester Abbey and electrical engineer Richard Tankersley spent a week with the Bangladesh Power Development Board, on a detailed tour of the distribution substations at Chittagong, in the east of Bangladesh.

In the past Bangladesh has purchased RTUs that are expensive to install and maintain and have not proved robust enough to deal with the power supply problems such as electrical surging.

¡§The Bangladesh government paid US $10 million for their last system which broke down three months later and has not been used since.

¡§Our electricity market has similarities with Bangladesh, as while Bangladesh has a population of 130 million, the power grid only supplies half of the total energy that New Zealand supplies to its population of 3.8 million people.

¡§We also have experience in providing equipment for remote locations, where there is no well developed infrastructure,¡¨ Mr Abbey said.

The type of substation found in Bangladesh is similar to those found in rural China, Indonesia and India.

The Industry New Zealand support means Abbey Systems will be in a position to design products for these developing Asian countries, Mr Abbey said.

¡§We are planning a visit to China later in the year and are hopeful our technology will be what they are looking for.

¡§It will have an advantage with price but also our equipment has less risk of installation and maintenance problems than that offered by our main competitors in the United States and Europe.¡¨

Industry New Zealand general manager central region Claire Johnstone said the business exchange undertaken by Abbey Systems is a good example of the type of initiative the World Class New Zealanders programme is designed to support.

¡§The programme aims to grow business expertise and improve capabilities critical to competitive growth through the transfer of international business knowledge,¡¨ she said.

Abbey Systems has also been the recipient of a Business Growth Fund grant from Industry New Zealand. Last year it received $100,000 to help the company develop and market its remote monitoring equipment for use in rural China.


Editor¡¦s Note

Abbey Systems Limited is a New Zealand company involved in the design and manufacture of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems for the Power, Telecom and Water markets. It has been operating since 1978.
Abbey Systems has developed a range of software and hardware products that sell in New Zealand, Australia and USA through selected agents.
Their philosophy is to design products for reliability and ease of use. Operators need minimal PC literacy and installers appreciate the integrated approach Abbey Systems¡¦ equipment uses, which saves time during installation.

It has offices in the United States and New Zealand and employs 20 staff.

Last year the company signed a joint venture with a Chinese Government-owned company, Zhuhai Xinfa International which has branches in nine provinces, to develop and market its remote monitoring equipment in China.

Industry New Zealand was set up by the Government in September 2000 as New Zealand¡¦s economic development agency.

World Class New Zealanders is an Industry New Zealand programme designed to help increase New Zealand's international competitiveness by giving entrepreneurs and high growth New Zealand industries and businesses the opportunity to learn from the world's best companies and brightest talents.

International Business Exchanges, part of the World Class New Zealanders programme, assist New Zealand Businesses to:

„h Improve capabilities critical to competitive growth

„h Learn skills from top offshore businesses

„h Establish networks with overseas experts and strategic partners linked to capability improvement

„h Access international expertise not readily available in New Zealand.

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