Nordic Networking - Unplugged at ABB
On 9 June 2015 NZSBA member ABB hosted a Nordic Networking event at their NZ Head Office in Grafton, Auckland. This provided a great opportunity to network and get to know this company that has over 80 years of history in NZ.
In fact the very first ASEA subsidiary was established in NZ in 1932. In 1998 Swedish ASEA merged with Swiss BBC, both companies having been founded in the late 1800's. The group today operates in over 100 countries with approx 140,000 employees and $40 billion in revenue.
In NZ ABB now have 3 manufacturing facilities - Transformers in New Plymouth, R&D Centre in Napier (as a result of an acquisition many years ago) and Medium Voltage Switchgear in Henderson, Auckland.
ABB leads in many markets - markets that include Power Products and Power Systems, Discreet Automation and Motion, Low Voltage Products and Process Automation. With over 8,500 scientists and engineers the group spends about $1.5 billion annually on R&D. Three years ago there began a big focus on integrity to manage a zero tolerance corruption policy and Health & Safety.
Ewan discussed some of the issues around electricity with worldwide demand expected to double by 2035, as predicted by the IEA 2013 World Energy Outlook. There is now a big focus on managing this demand and ABB is playing its part. Just one example of this is increasing efficiency in electric motors.
The future grid and power generation will look very different to today, with decentralised power generation (think solar and wind at the house), less predictable renewable energy source (dependent upon sunshine and wind), grid access with multi-directional power flow, demand management and centralised and decentralised energy storage. All this effectively means efficiently managing renewables and the impact on the grid power grid.
ABB manufacture reference solar inverters for the conversion of DC power outputted from solar panels into AC power usable for home and business. ABB also specialise in fast charge technology for electrical vehicles – such as the EV Charging Depot in central Auckland.
On behalf of all members who attended I would like to thank Ewan and the ABB team for hosting a wonderful networking event and the fascinating insight into the ABB business.