1,000th power drive milestone achieved; The Switch closes deal with Wärtsilä to take the drives to the world


Finland, November 1, 2016 – The Switch, a technology specialist of advanced drive trains, has closed the deal on Monday, October 31, to purchase Wärtsilä’s Norway-based marine power drives product range for megawatt-class applications. Backed by Yaskawa, this acquisition will provide a solid platform for the operations to focus on developing its core competences together. The Switch Marine Drives Norway AS starts off by celebrating the assembly of its serial number 1,000 drive and is now opening up for business to the world.

The main goal of The Switch acquisition is to take advantage of the synergies that these two organizations can bring to one another, including a stronger machine and drive package offering, a broader product range and wider international market access. Included in the deal is the power drives manufacturing factory and state-of-the-art test center in Stord, Norway, as well as an R&D facility in Trondheim.

This business unit fits into our own long-term strategy to offer environmental energy solutions for marine,” says Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO of The Switch. “There are strong synergies between us when it comes to opening new markets and channels for these products and the possibility to expand our businesses.” 

“The Switch aims to be a major player in the marine drive business. We already have a good position globally in marine. And now with this acquisition, we will have more products to sell to our customers and more know-how to apply them in state-of-the-art solutions for green shipping, which is the clear trend in the industry. Through Yaskawa, we can also provide more customers with access to these proven top-of-the-line products in the global market,” Mäkinen continues.  

The Switch will continue to be a supply chain partner of Wärtsilä for marine drives while also being able to open up the product offering to other customers. To date, nearly 1,000 power drives have been used successfully as certified and proven elements within Wärtsilä’s systems in applications ranging from propulsion to drilling. This makes them attractive to other marine customers who seek to reduce risk by upgrading to more advanced drive train solutions and hybrid systems.

“As we now start as part of The Switch, we’re also extremely pleased to have achieved our 1,000th drive milestone,” says Asbjorn Halsebakke, who will be responsible as General Manager for The Switch Marine Drives Norway AS in Stord. “For us, this means that we’ve been able to build up the experience necessary to make our power drives offering the undisputable leader in rugged operational environments.”

More about The Switch Marine Drives Norway AS

The new operational unit for The Switch has vast experience in delivering drives for demanding marine and oil & gas applications. This business originally began 15 years ago to focus on R&D engineering and was owned by Aker Elektro. In 2005, it was acquired by Wärtsilä Norway AS. The Drives business currently employs about 20 persons of which the majority are R&D and project engineers. The product range of 690 V low-voltage drives extends from 500 kW up to 5.5 MW single motors and 10 MW dual motors and 6600 V high-voltage drives from 5 MW to 24 MW.

About The Switch

The Switch, a Yaskawa company, is a pioneer in advanced drive train technology, offering environmental energy solutions. The company has an installed base of over 11 GW of megawatt-class permanent magnet machine and converter packages. The main focus areas are wind, marine and special industrial applications. The company’s innovative drive trains make an impact on profitable power generation and energy use, with the ultimate goal of lowering the cost of energy and operations. The Switch is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. For more information, please visit: www.theswitch.com.

About Yaskawa

Yaskawa Electric Corporation is a world-leading provider of core technologies focused on motion control, robotics automation, and systems engineering. Since it was founded in 1915, Yaskawa Electric has provided motor applications, advancement of industrial automation, the creation of mechatronics and cutting-edge robotics. Yaskawa today employs over 14,000 persons globally in its core divisions. The company reported net sales of EUR 3.1 billion in fiscal 2015 (EUR 1 = JPY 133.0). For more information, please visit: www.yaskawa.co.jp 


Lisa Kettman-Kervinen, Marketing Communication Specialist
The Switch: Tel. +358 50 554 5044,

Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO
The Switch: Tel. +358 40 8080 580,

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