ABB Opens Mexico Center, Nearshoring Project Delivery

January 26, 2023 by Stephanie Leonida

ABB plans to ramp up engineering project delivery in North America using regional resources through its recently opened Mexico Technology and Engineering Center.

In a recent announcement, automation, robotics, and electrification product manufacturer, ABB, informed its customers of the official opening of its Mexico Technology and Engineering Center (MXTEC) in Mérida, the capital in the Mexican state of Yucatán. With an initial investment of $1 million, the MXTEC is intended to help ABB achieve increased project delivery capacity, grow its engineering competency, and maintain its competitive edge. 


ABB and MXTEC ribbon-cutting ceremony

An image of the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of ABB’s MXTEC. Image used courtesy of ABB


Supply Chain Resiliency & Nearshoring

The coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have highlighted the vulnerabilities of global supply chains. This, coupled with the rise of automation and robotics, has spurred transportation leaders and manufacturers toward nearshoring.

According to an insight from Deloitte, 53 percent of manufacturers and 51 percent of transportation providers from the United States and Europe responded that they were planning or considering moving manufacturing to South or Central America. Sixty-eight percent of both manufacturers and transportation providers looked to moving manufacturing to the U.S. as a whole. Forty to 49 percent of total respondents also considered the Midwest and Mexico.

Nearshoring is a strategy that involves relocating production and services closer to the customer. This helps to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve supply chain resiliency. It also strengthens national supply chains by allowing countries to better manage their resources and reduce dependence on foreign suppliers. Nearshoring also creates more jobs in the local economy and helps to stimulate economic growth. 

However, nearshoring also comes with its own set of challenges. These include cultural differences, language barriers, transportation costs, legal issues, and the risk of data breaches. Companies need to weigh up such challenges before deciding to nearshore to make certain that the process is successful and beneficial for the business.


Yucatán's governor (left), Sweden's ambassador to Mexico (center), and ABB's Country Managing Director in Mexico (right) at MXTEC's opening. Image used courtesy of ABB


Connecting Continents 

By nearshoring, companies can ensure that their production facilities are located close enough to customers so they can quickly respond to changes in demand. Additionally, nearshoring allows companies to take advantage of new technologies that help them become more efficient and competitive in today's global marketplace.

For ABB, the new Mérida-based MXTEC, in the southern part of North America, will be a key link between its North American and South American operations. The center is located in the SkyWork building alongside a group of cybersecurity and technology companies. ABB automation and digital specialists will staff the MXTEC, which will serve as an integral resource for ABB engineers, as well as covers disciplines (such as automation, software and electrical engineering).


Yucatan Governor making speech to ABB employees, media, and public and university officials

The Governor of Yucatán, Mauricio Vila Dosal, making a speech addressed to an audience of ABB employees, media, and public and university officials. Image used courtesy of ABB


Local Talent and Relationships

Currently, ABB is working on recruiting and employing 30 engineers from a local talent pool while also forging relationships with Mexican universities. The latest recruits undertook training at ABB’s Czech Operations Center in Ostrava and are now onboarding through the use of a customized development program.

ABB expects its new center to provide an increase in engineering capacity by approximately 25 percent. Some projects may focus on the commissioning of ABB’s Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) at various customer sites. ABB is also considering the addition of other competencies for project management, supply chain, and sales support in the future.

To begin with, the MXTEC will support ABB’s orders pipeline from process industries including battery manufacturing, pulp and paper, mining, and metals.