NMW 2002: ABB Automation leader discusses trends

Chicago, Ill. - John Trostheim, president of the Automation Technology Products Division, ABB Inc. (Wickliffe, O.), talked to Control Engineering March 17, discussing ways the company has changed to better meet customer needs.

03/27/2002


Chicago, Ill. - John Trostheim, president of the Automation Technology Products Division, ABB Inc . (Wickliffe, O.), talked to Control Engineering March 17, discussing ways the company has changed to better meet customer needs.

Automation today mandates attention to customer needs more than previously, Mr. Trostheim says, and ABB has changed its internal organization to respond, along with changes to the technology delivered.

'We need to listen more to customers. We have to be involved in assessing their needs, and follow up more on their progress. Software especially has to be driven from the outside, from customers' needs, rather than from within. We've gained flexibility in how we can implement technologies. Now customers have options about where functionality goes. We're adaptable to what needs to be done.'

For instance, he pointed out, a smart power meter and smart relay can have the same functionality with the power of embedded intelligence. However, it's difficult for some to consider integrating technologies in non-traditional ways, he noted.

On the software side, ABB's Industrial IT initiative has become the glue to unite legacy systems with new platforms. Aspect objects can be reused and programming knowledge and investments carried over into future investments and upgrades. 'Things were very fragmented previously... there's much to save, for customers and for us, by using standards. Going forward we save resources.'

In the next five years, companies that have adopted the most flexible structures will do the best. 'You have to be adaptable to do what's needed to be done.' Information flow, and integration of new technologies 'will help customers protect their investments,' he says.

As for creative financing to pay for automation investments-such as revenue sharing agreements-'after we sit down with the customer and work out the implementation, most abandon the idea of sharing the savings, because they see the results are real and don't want to share them,' Mr. Trostheim says.

ABB Inc. was among 35 winners of the 2001 Control Engineering Editors' Choice Awards, given on March 17, the eve of National Manufacturing Week, which includes the Industrial Automation Show. Mr. Trostheim, in Chicago to receive and award for the Control IT 53MC5000B Process Control Station, made the comments to Control Engineering after the ceremony.

For more about the awards, click here . For more about the ceremony, click here .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
mhoske@cahners.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.