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Meet BBLF Success Held at Schneider Electric's Smart Factory in Plovdiv

September 13, 2023
Meet BBLF Success Held at Schneider Electric's Smart Factory in Plovdiv

More than 25 senior executives from more than 20 companies from the BBLF community met on-site to learn about the company's high-tech manufacturing and sustainable innovations

A new edition of MEET BBLF SUCCESS, our series of events promoting the achievements ofour member companies took place on 12.09.2023. We would like to thank the kind hosts of the visit, the team at Schneider Electric's Smart Factory in Plovdiv.

More than 25 senior executives from more than 20 companies from the BBLF community were welcomed on site by Ivelina Nikolova, Schneider Electric General Manager for Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo; Martin Yordanov, Smart Factory Manager; Simeon Kozarev, Innovation Hub Manager; and Kalina Petkova, Global Communications Leader for South East Europe.

BBLF Chair Levon Hampartzoumiansaid at the opening that the aim of the Meet BBLF Success series is to introduce member companies to the inspiring success of their peers in different sectors: their development, achievements, innovation and best practice of social responsibility and sustainable development, as exemplified by Schneider Electric in Bulgaria.

Schneider Electric is a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation. In 2019, the plant in Bulgaria received Smart Factory certification, the group's highest internal standard for industrial production, automation and efficient process management. This makes the Plovdiv production site a Smart Factory demonstration centre for 14 countries. The plant near Plovdiv produces more than 40 million circuit breakers annually. Every day, the company protects the people of nearly 30 countries because the products manufactured go to consumers’ homes and the buildings where they study, grow and work. At the end of 2022, the company won the first place and became "Factory of the Year" in the Capital newspaper competition, one held in partnership with Plovdiv Municipality and Trakia Tech Foundation. 

At the Meet BBLF Success event, Ivelina Nikolova, General Manager of Schneider Electric for Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo, welcomed guests to the plant’s demo space, the Innovation Hub, and briefed them on the company's current and future investment plans in Bulgaria. 

The guests had the opportunity to see the construction of the first and only in Bulgaria innovative geothermal system of this scale, which will allow the plant in Plovdiv to become 100% independent from the use of natural gas. In addition, the expansion of the company's factory is in its final stages. "This is not the end of the company's investment plans. Both Europe as an area and our country in particular remain the focus of future growth plans," said Ivelina Nikolova. "The company is set to open more than 100 new jobs at the Smart Factory in Plovdiv, which will bring the Schneider family in Bulgaria to more than 1,000 people," she added.

Martin Yordanov, Manager of the Smart Factory in Plovdiv, dwelled about the history and the start of Schneider Electric's production in Bulgaria almost 25 years ago in the town of Perushtitsa. "Currently, over 70% of the processes in the factory are fully automated, and the team is constantly  implementing new technologies. Crucially, our factory is an important talent development hub for our European organisation. We have a growing number of colleagues who started in our manufacturing plant and are currently in centralised management positions. We provide many valuable opportunities for career growth, retraining and development for our team," he stressed. 

Simeon Kozarev, Innovation Hub Manager, presented the high-tech solutions that the company develops, offers and applies. He highlighted the long-term investments and initiatives for the training of school students. In early and mid-2023, Schneider Electric signed partnership agreements with several universities in Bulgaria with a focus on Paisiy Hilendarski University in Plovdiv. The Schneider Electric team will lead two one-semester courses on lean management and energy management at the Telecommunications & Management programme at the University's Faculty of Physics and Technology

The highlight of the visit was the special tour of the production area of the factory. Visitors had the opportunity to actually see what the large-scale 70% automation is all about and how the processes are organised in the factory. There are already 2 cobots (collaborative robots) implemented in production, and they are fully autonomous. Unlike "ordinary" robots, they are designed so that, in addition to performing flawlessly a number of repetitive technological operations, they take into account the activities of humans nearby and take care of their safety. The factory has also implemented an AGV-system, i.e. unmanned indoor transport. By using new technologies, the company invests much more time in training employees, developing more and higher competencies and increasing their professional qualifications. 

Schneider Electric's management team shared that at the heart of all the crucial steps the company has taken to reduce energy consumption and decarbonise operations lies Schneider Electric's long-standing commitment to protect our common home, the Earth, and the company's global sustainable commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% across the entire supply chain by 2030.

The meeting ended with a cocktail reception.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Meet BBLF Success!

If you would like to host a similar visit from member company executives, please contact us at