Inernational Students Visit ABB Group
By Marie-Alice SCHEIBLING
ABB is a Swedish group with its headquarter located in Zurich, Switzerland. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB has operations in around 100 countries, with approximately 145,000 employees in June 2012 and reported global revenue of $40 billion for 2011. The company is traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich and the Stockholm Stock Exchange in Sweden since 1999, on the New York Stock Exchange since 2001.
Regarding the activities of the group, the company has one corporate division and five production divisions since reorganisation in January 2010:
- Power products: are the main components for the transmission and the distribution of electricity.
- Power systems: offer systems and turnkey services for the transmission and distribution of energy and power plants.
- Discrete automation and motion: suggest products, solutions and services that improve the industrial productivity.
- Low voltage products: to protect people, electronic equipment and installations from electrical overload, ABB manufactures low voltage circuit breakers, switches, control products …
- Process automation: provide customers with systems for control, plant optimization, and industry-specific automation applications.
We visited the discrete automation and motion part in the company. It includes motors, generators, variable speed drives, programmable logic controllers (PLC), the power electronics and robotics provide power, motion and control for a wide range of automation applications. We saw the product line for the robots and the painters.
The main objective of ABB is to compete with the hard and worldwide competition, mainly with the Japanese firms. They try to provide better quality and services with an average price higher than the market. They have customers all around the world, but regarding the robotic part, the main one is the OEMs.
It is very interesting to visit the company and to see how it works. There are a huge number of factories in China. The “Made in China” goods is an important part in our everyday life in Europe, regarding clothes, electronics and some others facilities. Therefore, I think it’s a privilege to see the inside of a factory in China.
I knew nothing about robotic before visiting the company, so I was attentive about their speeches and their explanations, trying to understand their objectives and their jobs. The question time at the end allowed us to learn more about them. It is very enriching and exclusive to have this kind of access.
By the end of this summer, I will have graduated, so I am very interested in visiting the company, as I need to find a job. To build a list of contacts and references, it is a very good opportunity for me if I want to stay here in the future. I hope we will do some other business trips like this one because every company is managed in a different way, and there is always something new that we can learn about China, including its business and its future.