ABB realigns automation divisions

Low voltage, discrete automation will be focus of two new units



ABB has realigned its automation divisions in a move that company officials said would enable the company "to tap growth opportunities in service, expand its presence in the discrete manufacturing sector and better respond to the increasing demand for energy efficient solutions."
On Jan. 1, 2010, the current Automation Products and Robotics divisions will split into two new divisions - Discrete Automation and Motion, and Low Voltage Products. The Process Automation division will remain unchanged except for the addition of the instrumentation business from the Automation Products division.
"ABB's automation businesses with their focus on productivity and energy efficiency have tremendous scope for growth," said Joe Hogan, ABB's chief executive officer. "We have strengthened the market approach by grouping together businesses with similar customers, technologies and service models, which will help us accelerate the development of solutions for our customers."
The new Low Voltage Products division includes businesses producing mainly low-voltage electrical equipment that is sold to wholesalers, original equipment manufacturers as well as system integrators, and has moderate service requirements. The division had 2008 pro-forma revenue of $4.8 billion and about 19,000 employees.
The new Discrete Automation and Motion division includes products and systems targeted at discrete manufacturing applications, such as robotics and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and providing motion in plants, such as motors and drives. These businesses help customers to increase the productivity and energy efficiency of their assets. It also includes a significant offering for the renewable sectors of solar and wind, as well as the rail segment. The businesses sell mainly to original equipment manufacturers, system integrators and directly to end users, and require a more intensive, tailored level of service. The division had 2008 pro-forma revenue of $6.6 billion and also about 19,000 employees.
Process Automation will remain unchanged except for the addition of ABB's instrumentation business. The company said this move would strengthen the division's process automation platform as instruments measuring temperature, flow, pressure, etc. are key to optimizing industrial processes. The division had 2008 pro-forma revenue of $8.4 billion and about 29,500 employees.
The reorganization of the automation businesses will be accompanied by several related leadership changes as of Jan. 1, 2010.
Tom Sjökvist, currently responsible for Automation Products, will become head of the new Low Voltage Products division. Sjökvist has provided successful leadership for the low-voltage business for many years and has driven the Automation Products division to new levels of profitability.
Ulrich Spiesshofer, currently responsible for Corporate Development on the Executive Committee, has been appointed to run the Discrete Automation and Motion division. Spiesshofer, who joined ABB in 2005, has led ABB's strategic growth initiatives such as its service activities, and has played a key role in managing the company's global footprint optimization efforts and its $2-billion cost take-out program
Anders Jonsson, currently responsible for the Robotics division, will have an Executive Committee role with responsibility for continuing the implementation of ABB's current cost take-out program as well as the company's Global Footprint program, which aligns ABB's resources with the company's growth opportunities. Jonsson has successfully repositioned the robotics business for long-term profitable growth.
Veli-Matti Reinikkala remains head of the Process Automation division.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
Industrial wireless cyber security: More complex than black and white; IIoT at the I/O level; Process modeling; Cyber security research
Robotic advances: Software, form factors; System-based ROI; Embedded control; MES and information integration; SCADA and cyber security; Position sensor; Controller, I/O module
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle