Profile: ABB Ltd (ABB)
18 Jun 2013
ABB Ltd (ABB), incorporated on March 5, 1999, is engaged in power and automation technologies. The Company provides a range of products, systems, solutions and services. Its power businesses focus on power transmission, distribution and power-plant automation and serve electric, gas and water utilities, as well as industrial and commercial customers. Its automation businesses serve a range of industries with measurement, control, protection and process optimization applications. It operates in approximately 100 countries across four regions: Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). During the year ended December 31, 2011, business consisted of five divisions: Power Products, Power Systems, Discrete Automation and Motion, Low Voltage Products and Process Automation. On January 26, 2011, the Company acquired Baldor Electric Company (Baldor). In May 2011, it purchased a controlling interest in United States-based Validus DC Systems. In May 2012, the Company acquired Thomas & Betts Corporation.
Power Products Division
The Company’s Power Products division serves electric utilities, as well as gas and water utilities and industrial and commercial customers, with a range of products and services to facilitate power generation, transmission and distribution. Its Power Products division manufactures products in three categories: high-voltage products, medium-voltage products and transformers. The division sells to utilities and also through channels such as distributors, wholesalers, installers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Some of the division's products are also integrated into the turnkey offerings of the Power Systems and Process Automation divisions or sold through engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms.
The high-voltage products business provides high-voltage equipment, ranging from 50 to 1,200 kilovolts, to serve power transmission utilities. As part of its portfolio, this business designs and manufactures a range of air- and gas-insulated switchgear, capacitors, circuit breakers, surge arresters, instrument transformers, cable accessories and a range of voltage components. The medium-voltage business offers products and solutions, which serve the power distribution sector. Medium-voltage products business reaches customers directly and through distributors and OEMs with a range of medium-voltage equipment (1 to 50 kilovolts), including products, such as indoor and outdoor circuit breakers, reclosers, fuses, contactors, instrument transformers, sensors, motor control centers, ring main units for primary and secondary distribution, as well as a range of air- and gas-insulated switchgear. It also produces indoor and outdoor modular systems and other solutions to facilitate power distribution.
The transformers business of the division designs and manufactures power transformers (72.5 to 1,200 kilovolts) for utility and industrial customers, as well as transformer components and insulation material, such as bushings and tap changers. It also manufactures a range of distribution transformers (up to 72.5 kilovolts) for use in the power distribution sector, industrial facilities and commercial buildings. These transformers are designed to step down electrical voltage bringing it to consumption levels. They can be oil or dry-type. The business also produces traction transformers for use in electric locomotives and other special application transformers. It also offers a range of service and retrofit solutions for utilities and industry customers.
The Power Products division's customers are electric utilities. This includes owners and operators of power generating plants, as well as power transmission and distribution networks. Other customers include gas, water and other utilities and industrial and commercial customers, including operators of industrial plants and commercial buildings. The Power Products division sells its products individually and as part of systems through its
The Company competes with Siemens, Alstom, Schneider Electric, Cooper, Eaton Corporation, Hyundai, Hyosung, Crompton Greaves, Larsen and Toubro, and Bharat Heavy Electricals.
Power Systems Division
The Company’s Power Systems division serves utilities, industrial and commercial customers with system solutions and services for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Turnkey solutions include power plant electrification and automation, bulk power transmission, substations and network management. Its Power Systems division delivers solutions through four businesses: power generation, grid systems, substations and network management, primarily serving utilities and EPC companies. Its power generation business is a provider of integrated power and automation solutions for all types of power generation plants, including coal, gas, combined-cycle, nuclear, waste-to-energy and a range of renewables including hydro, solar, and bio-mass. The business also serves the water industry, including applications, such as pumping stations and desalination plants.
As part of the grid systems business, ABB provides a range offering of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) transmission systems. High-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology is designed for power transmission through overhead transmission lines and underground or submarine cables. HVDC is used for grid interconnections. HVDC Light is for linking offshore installations, such as wind farms or oil and gas platforms, to mainland grids. It is used to transmit electricity with minimal electrical losses. As of December 31, 2011, ABB had more than 750 flexible alternating current systems (FACTS) installations in operation or under construction globally.
ABB offers a range of land and submarine cables through its grid systems business, as well as accessories and services for a range of applications for AC and DC systems. The portfolio includes cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulated cables for transmission systems at voltages up to 320 kilo-volts. As of December 31, 2011, ABB had delivered more than 7,000 kilometers of XLPE cables for voltages in excess of 100 kilo-volts for projects globally. When it comes to transmission grid solutions, ABB manufactures its own power semiconductors serving a range of industries, including transportation and wind.
ABB delivers air- and gas-insulated substations from deserts and mountains to offshore rigs and crowded city centers. ABB's substation offering covers a range of voltage levels up to 1,100 kilovolts serving utility, industry and commercial customers as well as sectors like railways, urban transportation and renewables. ABB's network management business offers solutions to help manage power networks. The offering covers network management and utility communications solutions to monitor, control, operate and protect power systems. The portfolio includes control and protection systems for power generation, transmission and distribution, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, as well as software solutions for central electricity markets and mixed utilities. The portfolio also includes wireless and fixed communication systems for power, water and gas utilities, including both operational and corporate communication networks. It includes fiber optics, microwave radio and power line applications for data networking and broadband network management, as well as teleprotection and substation communication networks and voice switching management systems. In addition, the Power Systems division offers a range of services across the value chain. These services range from support agreements and retrofits to spare parts, service, consulting and training. The division also undertakes analyses and design of transmission and distribution systems, as well as asset optimization based on technical, economic and environmental considerations.
The Company competes with Siemens, Alstom, Emerson Electric, General Electric and Prysmian and Nexan.
Discrete Automation and Motion Division
The Discrete Automation and Motion division's offering covers a range of products and services, including drives, motors, generators, power electronics systems, rectifiers, power quality products, photovoltaic inverters, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and robots. Its applications include energy conversion, data acquisition and processing, actuation, automation, standardized manufacturing cells for applications, such as machine tending, welding, cutting, painting, finishing and packing, and engineered systems for the automotive industry. The applications are for industrial applications, with others provided for buildings, transportation, and utilities. The division also provides a range of life-cycle services, from product and system maintenance to system design, including energy appraisals and preventive maintenance services. Revenues are generated both from direct sales to end users, as well as from indirect sales through distributors, machine builders and OEMs, system integrators, and panel builders.
The Discrete Automation and Motion division provides low-voltage and medium-voltage drive products and systems for industrial, commercial and residential applications. Its drives are used in the building automation, marine, power, transportation and manufacturing industries, among others. The division also produces a range of power electronics products. These include static excitation and synchronizing systems, as well as power rectifiers, which convert AC power to DC power for amperage applications, such as furnaces in zinc plants and aluminum and magnesium smelters. The division also manufactures frequency converters. The division supplies a range of electrical motors and generators, including motors. The Discrete Automation and Motion division manufactures synchronous motors and a range of induction motors.
The Discrete Automation and Motion division offers robot products, systems and services for the automotive manufacturers and their sub-suppliers, as well as for manufacturing industries. Robots are also used in in-hospitable environments, such as repetitive lifting, cold rooms or painting booths. In the automotive industry, the robot products and systems are used in such areas as press shop, body shop, paint shop, power train assembly, trim and final assembly. General industry segments in which robotics solutions are used range from metal fabrication, foundry, plastics, food and beverage, chemicals and pharmaceuticals to consumer electronics, solar and wood. The division also offers services, including design and project management, engineering, installation, training and life-cycle care, energy appraisals and preventive maintenance. The Discrete Automation and Motion division serves a range of customers. Customers include machinery manufacturers, process industries, such as pulp and paper, oil and gas and metals and mining companies, rail equipment manufacturers, discrete manufacturing companies, utilities and renewable energy suppliers, as well as customers in the automotive industry. Sales are made both through direct sales forces, as well as through third-party channel partners, such as distributors, wholesalers, installers, machine builders and OEMs, system integrators, and panel builders.
The Company competes with Alstom, Fanuc Robotics, Kuka Robot Group, Rockwell Automation, Schneider, Siemens, Yaskawa, and WEG Industries.
Low Voltage Products Division
The Low Voltage Products division offers a range of products and systems, with related services, which provide protection, control and measurement for electrical installations, enclosures, switchboards, electronics and electromechanical devices for industrial machines and plants. The applications are in industry, building, infrastructures, rail and sustainable transportation, renewable energies and e-mobility applications. The Low Voltage Products division offering covers a range of products and services, including low voltage switchgears, breakers, switches, control products, rail components, automation and distribution enclosures, wiring accessories and installation material. The division offers solutions for restoring service in case of a fault and providing protection of the electrical installation. The product offering ranges from circuit-breakers to molded-case and air circuit-breakers, and includes safety switches used for power distribution in factories and buildings, fuse gear systems for short circuit and overload protection, as well as cabling and connection components. The Low Voltage Products division also offers terminal blocks and printed circuit board connectors used by panel builders and OEMs to produce distribution and control panels, as well as specialized applications in industries, such as traction, energy, maritime, explosive atmospheres or electronics. The division offers a range of contactors, soft starters, starters, proximity sensors, safety products for industrial protection, limit switches, manual motor starters, along with electronic relays and overload relays.
The division provides smart home and intelligent building control systems, a complete system for energy reducing building application areas, such as lighting and shutters, heating, ventilation, cooling and security. In addition, the division's switchgear technology integrates intelligent motor and feeder control solutions for digital control, condition monitoring and plant wide data access by process control systems, electrical control systems and other plant computers. The Low Voltage Products division serves a range of customers, including residential and commercial building contractors, process industries, rail equipment manufacturers, manufacturing companies, utilities and renewable energy suppliers.
The Company competes with Eaton Corporation, Legrand, Mitsubishi, Schneider, Siemens, Leviton and Rittal.
Process Automation Division
The Process Automation division provides products, systems, and services for the automation and electrification of industrial processes. The Process Automation division offers process control and measurement systems, plant electrification systems, information management, asset management and industry-specific applications for a variety of industries, primarily pulp and paper, minerals and mining, metals, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, turbocharging, power and the marine industry. Its control systems are used in applications, such as batch management energy management and safety. They are the hubs, which link instrumentation, devices and systems for control and supervision of industrial processes.
An element of this division's product offering is its System 800xA process automation platform. This product extends the capability of traditional process control systems, introducing advanced functions such as batch management, asset optimization and field device integration which plug in to a common user environment. The division's product offerings for the pulp and paper industries include quality control systems for pulp and paper mills, control systems, drive systems, on-line sensors, actuators and field instruments. On-line sensors measure product properties, such as weight, thickness, color, brightness, moisture content and additive content. It offers its customers in the metals and minerals industries specialized products and services, as well as total production systems. It designs, plans, engineers, supplies, erects and commissions electric equipment, drives, motors and equipment for automation and supervisory control within a range of areas including mining, mineral handling, aluminum smelting, hot and cold steel applications and cement production.
In the oil and gas sector, the Company provides solutions for onshore and offshore production and exploration, refining, and petrochemical processes, and oil/gas transportation and distribution. In the pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals areas, it offers applications to support manufacturing, packaging, quality control and compliance with regulatory agencies. In the marine field, it provides global shipbuilders with power and automation technologies for luxury cruise liners, ferries, tankers, offshore oil rigs and special purpose vessels. It designs, engineers, builds, supplies and commissions electrical systems for marine power generation, power distribution and diesel electric propulsion, as well as turbochargers. It also offers full-service contracts across all of its customer segments, in which it takes over in-house maintenance activities for customers.
The Company competes with Emerson, Honeywell, Invensys, Metso Automation, Rockwell Automation, Schneider, Siemens, Voith, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.
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