ABB is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama were among the first to experience a ground-breaking new smart sensor from ABB during their visit to the Hanover Fair on Monday. The two leaders were shown how ABB’s smart sensor can improve the productivity of hundreds of millions of electric motors by connecting them for the first time to cloud-based services.
At the ABB stand, Merkel and Obama heard how the smart sensor can be applied to the vast majority of low-voltage motors, whether new or already in use, making it possible to improve efficiency, reduce downtime and save money. The digital solution will for the first time enable LV motors to be integrated into the expanding Internet of Things, Services and People.
Accompanied by ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, Greg Scheu, President of ABB’s Americas region and Hans-Georg Krabbe, Country Managing Director of ABB in Germany, the two leaders watched a YuMi robot demonstrate how easy it is to attach the smart sensor to an LV motor. Through a wireless connection to the Internet, the motor’s performance data was displayed on a large screen, demonstrating how unexpected breakdowns can be avoided and energy consumption reduced.
"The smart sensor enables transcontinental industrial digitalization," said Spiesshofer. "The sensor reduces the downtime of motors by up to 70 percent, extends their life span by up to 30 percent, and cuts energy consumption by as much as 10 percent. If all industrial electric motors worldwide were equipped with our smart sensors, the energy savings would be equivalent to the output of 100 large power plants."
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ABB’s North American operations are headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, and employ about 30,000 people in multiple manufacturing, service and other major facilities.
The company in its current form was created in 1988, and quickly established a presence in the US through acquisitions as well as organic growth. Westinghouse, Combustion Engineering, Bailey Controls and many other highly respected firms joined the ABB family. In the last few years, ABB has dramatically expanded its US operations with the acquisitions of Baldor (motors, mechanical power transmission), Thomas & Betts (low-voltage products), Ventyx (enterprise software) and PowerOne (solar inverters).
ABB’s success has been driven particularly by a strong focus on research and development. One of its seven global R&D centers is located on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh along with its Smart Grid Center of Excellence and the regional headquarters for ABB’s power-related businesses.
This focus on technology development has produced numerous breakthroughs and industry firsts, many in the United States, from the world’s largest drive at NASA’s National Transonic Facility Wind Tunnel in Virginia to the world’s largest battery energy storage system in Fairbanks, Alaska. ABB has even supplied robots featured in the Terminator and Iron Man films.
Today, ABB stands as a global leader in power and automation, and the US represents its largest growth market. – less