ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri) is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, operating mainly in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment, and automation technology areas. It is ranked 341st in the Fortune Global 500 list of 2018 and has been a global Fortune 500 company for 24 years.
ABB’s Electrification business offers products and services from substation to socket. Customers include a wide range of industry and utility operations, plus commercial and residential buildings. The business has strong exposure to a range of rapidly growing segments, including renewables, e-mobility, data centres and smart buildings.
Its offerings include electric vehicle infrastructure, solar inverters, modular substations, distribution automation; products to protect people, installations and electronic equipment from electrical overloads such as enclosures, cable systems and low-voltage circuit breakers; measuring and sensing devices, control products, switches and wiring accessories.
The business also offers KNX systems that integrate and automate a building’s electrical installations, ventilation systems, and security and data communication networks. Electrification incorporates an “Electrification Solutions” unit manufacturing low voltage switchgear and motor control centres.
The acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, which closed in June 2018, further strengthened ABB’s #2 global position in electrification.
ABB’s Motion business provides a range of electrical motors, generators, drives and services, as well as integrated digital powertrain solutions. Motion is the #1 player in the market globally.
Robotics and Discrete Automation:
ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business combines machine and factory automation systems, mainly from B&R, which ABB acquired in 2017, with a comprehensive robotics concepts and applications suite. ABB has installed over 300,000 robots globally. The Robotics & Discrete Automation business has been positioned to capture the opportunities associated with the “factory of the future” by providing services for flexible manufacturing and smart machinery. The business is #2 globally, with a #1 position in robotics in the high-growth Chinese market, where ABB is expanding its innovation and production capacity by investing in a new robotics factory in Shanghai.
The Industrial Automation business provides a range of services for process and hybrid industries, including its industry-specific integrated automation, electrification and digital services, control technologies, software and advanced services, as well as measurement & analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings.
The Power Grids business offers components for the transmission and distribution of electricity and incorporates ABB’s manufacturing network for transformers, switchgear, circuit breakers, and associated high voltage equipment such as digital protective relays. It also offers maintenance services.
A key part of Power Grids’ offering turnkey systems and service for power transmission and distribution grids and for power plants; this includes electrical substations and substation automation systems flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS), high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems, and network management systems. The division is subdivided into the four business units High Voltage Products, Transformers, Grid Automation and Grid Integration.
In December 2018, ABB and Hitachi Ltd. announced that Hitachi would take over ABB’s power grid business for about $6.4 billion. The transaction would be the Japanese conglomerate’s biggest ever deal as it shifts focus from nuclear plants to the higher-growth market for electricity networks.
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