ABB (NYSE: ABB), a global leader in power and automation, announced at its Automation & Power World 2013 customer conference in Orlando, FL that its US revenues rose 26 percent to a record $6.7 billion in 2012. This growth is boosted by acquisitions and strong organic growth as industrial clients increase productivity and utilities modernize power grids.
Organic order growth reached 12 percent in 2012 as U.S. industrial customers ordered more products like robots, instruments, motors and low-voltage products to increase productivity and energy efficiency. Utilities invested in new high-voltage transmission lines to upgrade the power grids and added smart-grid solutions to offer new services and integrate enterprise with operational data.
ABB has invested around $10 billion in the U.S. over the last three years and more than doubled its revenues since 2007 from $3.1 billion. During this period the U.S. work force grew to nearly 20,000 from 8,700. For North America as a whole, including Canada and Mexico, revenues also more than doubled in the last five years to $8.5 billion and the number of employees rose to more than 27,000 from 11,300.
ABB acquired several U.S. companies over the last years including Ventyx – a utility and energy software leader; Baldor Electric – the nation’s top industrial motors and generator producer; and Thomas & Betts – a top manufacturer of low-voltage electric equipment. Thomas & Betts alone added about $1 billion to ABB’s 2012 U.S. revenues.
“The U.S. is the largest single market for ABB. The expansion in the U.S. and North America is a pillar of the company’s 2015 growth strategy,” said Enrique Santacana, CEO for ABB’s North America region. “Our solutions are helping to boost the productivity and energy efficiency of industry clients and to modernize power grids. ABB’s growth strategy is targeting market and technology gaps where the company is underrepresented. We are also shifting to regional customization from centralized manufacturing.”
ABB has also invested in local production. It opened a $100-million power-line cable factory near Charlotte in 2012 and has expanded other facilities such as its smart-grid center in Raleigh.
“Boosting productivity and energy efficiency make it possible to produce goods in America for American customers. At the same time we are bringing new solutions to the U.S. power grid and helping to make the smart grid a reality,” Santacana said. “Our R&D investments will continue to keep us at the forefront of technological development.”
The MIT Technology Review, the official science and technology journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), named ABB, a Fortune 500 company, to its 2013 list of top 50 global innovators.
ABB was cited for a technology breakthrough that solved a 100-year-old electrical engineering puzzle, paving the way for a new generation of highly efficient and reliable power transmission grids. After years of research, ABB developed the world’s first circuit breaker for high voltage direct current (HVDC). It combines exceptionally fast mechanics with power electronics, and will be capable of interrupting power flows equivalent to the output of a large power station within 5 milliseconds – 30 times faster than the blink of a human eye.