ABB marks 100 years of pioneering technology research in presence of Swedish king
OREANDA-NEWS. ABB has been marking the 100th anniversary of its longest-established Corporate Research Center with a day devoted to technology and innovation. Among the guests attending the event were the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, who spent the day with ABB, and the Swedish Minister of Energy Ibrahim Baylan. ABB Group was represented by CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer and Chief Technology Officer Bazmi Husain. The V?ster?s research center pioneered several groundbreaking technologies, including the first electrically powered, anthropomorphic, microprocessor-controlled robot, with the first Intel chip.
A highlight of the day was the launch of a new ABB growth hub, inaugurated by Energy Minister Baylan, as well as Ulrich Spiesshofer and Bazmi Husain. During a symbolic ribbon-cutting session, the minister described the growth hub as a “very exciting and natural step for ABB”, adding that “ABB is a great example of a company that is providing the world with knowledge and breakthrough technologies.”
In his keynote address, Spiesshofer praised the work of ABB researchers, saying that it was only by continuously looking ahead that the Corporate Research Center in V?ster?s had been so successful and made it to the age of 100. He said ABB’s core business sectors of power and automation were facing a paradigm change, driven by digitalization.
Referring to ABB’s appointment of a new Chief Digital Officer, announced on Sept. 5, 2016, Spiesshofer said ABB was “proud to be leading the fourth industrial revolution from a technological perspective with innovative products and services. He added that ABB saw collaboration as the key to advancing technology. “In such a diverse and innovation-rich environment as power and automation, no single organization can realize the opportunities alone,” Spiesshofer said, citing ABB’s many university collaborations and partnerships with leading industry players such as Hitachi, BYD in China, Samsung SDI, Ericsson and Volvo Buses, as examples of how ABB and its partners were driving the Internet of Things, Services and People. He also stressed the opportunities digitalization would bring. “Machines will not take our jobs,” he said. “They will create new industries and ways of working that in turn will create new jobs. This will elevate the nature of work, and allow humans to do jobs that are more fulfilling and rewarding.”
Other guests at the event, which included a tour of ABB’s research facilities, were customer CEOs, scientists from partner universities, and public officials. Among the groundbreaking ABB technologies on show were YuMi, the world’s most advanced collaborative industrial robot, as well as ABB’s latest fast-charging technology for electric buses. Volvo buses powered by ABB technology were on hand to transport guests to and from the venue.
“The breakthroughs achieved by our world-class experts at our R&D center in V?ster?s have helped to shape the world we live in, but it is only by global collaboration and continuously looking ahead that it has been so successful,” said Johan S?derstr?m, Managing Director of ABB in Sweden. “We want the next 100 years to be equally successful, and the growth hub will help us to learn from start-ups and other partners, become more agile and increase the speed with which technological advances and value are brought to the market.”
Since the center’s opening in 1916, its scientists have achieved or contributed to numerous breakthroughs and new technologies in the fields of power and automation. Earlier this year, ABB was ranked the most “most impressive” research company in a survey of Swedish researchers.
As well as the robot referred to above, the V?ster?s research center pioneered several breakthroughs in high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission, enabling ABB to maintain its technology leadership in the field ever since it developed the technology in the 1950s. In the 1990s, the center developed HVDC Light, which has become the technology of choice for applications such as connecting wind farms to the grid, interconnecting power grids and providing power to offshore platforms, all with underground or submarine cables. It also developed the highest-voltage cable, which facilitates the interconnection of power grids and the integration of large amounts of renewable power.