ABB’s breakthrough developing an HVDC circuit breaker now led to an inclusion to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 disruptive companies 2013 along with companies such as Apple, SpaceX, and Facebook. The HVDC breaker enables building direct current grids, whereas before only point-to-point lines were possible. This may lead to widespread use of renewable energy.
The latest issue of ABB’s corporate technical journal “ABB Review” features the theme “Software”. With around 3,000 software developers in 40 countries worldwide and impacting about one quarter of ABB’s revenue, there is no doubt that ABB is a major software company. The theme issue provides an overview on some of ABB’s latest activites for embedded, system, and enterprise software as well as software processes. Check out how we prepare our controllers for the multi-core challenge and how we use performance modelling to plan the capacity and software architectures of our back-end IT.
Because much of the software was, until recently, embedded in other products, ABB was not recognized as being an obvious software company. This changed with the acquisition of enterprise software companies such as Ventyx and Mincom, rendering ABB much more visible on the software scene.
A new paper was accepted for a working session at WICSA 2012 in Helsinki: “Managing the cost-effective evolution of industrial software systems is a challenging task because of their complexity and long lifetimes. We have applied several recent sustainability evaluation and improvement approaches to the software architecture of a large industrial software system from ABB. We combined our selection of approaches in a lightweight method called MORPHOSIS“.
Along with smartphones and digital photography, FACTS has been named among the top 11 technologies of the decade by the IEEE. The 11 technologies named in the list include smartphones, social networking, voice over IP, LED lighting, cloud computing, multicore CPUs, digital photography, drone aircraft, class-D audio and planetary rovers. FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) also finds a place in this illustrious list. FACTS is a family of technologies that ABB pioneered and has continuously developed over the past 60 years.
“With these technologies ABB can increase the capacity of existing lines by as much as 50 percent, reduce electrical losses in long distance power transfer and relieve grid congestion and transmission bottlenecks that prevent the flow of electricity,” said Ingela Hålling, head of FACTS within the Grid Systems business of the Power Systems division. “FACTS technologies can also help to minimize the risk of blackouts, and facilitate the integration of intermittent types of energy by rapidly countering voltage fluctuations or by storing large amounts of surplus power until it is needed.”
ABB has delivered around 800 FACTS installations worldwide, which is more than half the world total.
Quote: “Today’s machinery is controlled by clunky levers and buttons. Most often, operators are having a hard time syncing their coordination with the machines. But now, as a new era of motion-control arrives, the Kinect can change the way we operate, the way we control machines. With the Kinect, precision handling of these constructs are on their way as users and operators can finally control machines through motion-based commands.”
“This headless, two-armed robot may be tomorrow’s factory worker. Its name is FRIDA, and it’s a creation of ABB, the Swiss power and automation giant, which introduced it early this month at the Hannover trade show, Europe’s largest industrial fair…”