The pursuit of productivity

To survive globally, companies must find new ways of integrating global production in order to cut costs and tap new sources of skills and knowledge. They must plan carefully where and how they will manufacture their products, and who will produce them.

At the same time, new technologies and business models are allowing companies to break apart and reassemble the component parts of their business - things like procurement, manufacturing, research, sales, distribution, and so on - in new combinations and locations that let them connect ever more closely with partners, suppliers, and customers.


In a brave new business world, only the efficient, competitive and productive will survive. Global manufacturers are under intense pressure to improve productivity and performance to stay competitive, or risk losing business to more efficient rivals.

Even small improvements work
Even low-cost manufacturers in Asia and Eastern Europe face stiff competition as rapid growth lures new players into the marketplace. But the good news is that even small productivity improvements can improve competitiveness and create major savings.


ABB is committed to designing and building the very latest products, systems and services that improve productivity and keep a company competitive.

Nearly everyone has taken advantage of the easy ways to increase productivity, such as automating simple operations, outsourcing to take advantage of lower labor costs, or improving the supply chain.

Now manufacturers are looking for other ways to boost productivity. The key to the next level is a synthesis of efficient and reliable automation equipment, real-time data and asset management programs, and a profound knowledge of manufacturing processes.

This is especially important in a climate where manufacturing is no longer seen as something isolated and set apart from the rest of society, but rather as an important component which must operate within accepted societal constraints.

A complex challenge
Getting a plant to operate at peak performance is a complex challenge, and increasing plant and asset productivity in the first instance can be a difficult process.

ABB’s power and automation professionals have helped customers achieve this thousands of times, with proven tools and strategies for all types of manufacturing industries.

With its detailed knowledge of many manufacturing processes and globally-installed equipment base, ABB is developing technologies that secure maximum productivity for customers in a wide range of industries. ABB's unbeatable combination of automation systems and process know-how not only drive productivity growth, but lower energy consumption.

Lessons learned in each of the industries we serve are shared across the ABB Group, to encourage the transfer of productivity benefits from industry to industry.

Knowledge and industry
Meanwhile, our engineering researchers combine a wealth of customer-generated experience with knowledge culled from collaborations at 70 of the world's leading research universities.

ABB products ship fast, install with ease and cost less over their entire lifecycles. Our solutions increase quality and production rates, while decreasing product variations. ABB service options squeeze extra value from installed assets, so customers can focus on their core business.

Speeding up a particular system or reducing material waste, for example, helps customers get more out of plant assets and achieve a greater return on their investment.

ABB instruments, motors, drives, and control systems work in harmony to monitor and adjust process variables like temperature, pressure, and material composition to the most exacting specifications.

One million per day
More than one million ABB automation products are shipped daily to end customers and channel partners, spanning a wide range of industry and utility operations, plus commercial and residential buildings.

Motors and drives at the heart of ABB industrial solutions are now even more energy efficient, so plant production, flexibility and quality can go up, making better use of raw materials and energy supplies.

ABB software solutions run processes closer to their optimum, maintaining product quality while reducing traditional margins of error.

For example, real-time measurements using ABB software and systems help refiners blend gasoline efficiently, ensuring octane levels are as advertised without exceeding specifications.

ABB control systems also provide unmatched control over power plant functions, including critical coal burning applications like desulphurization, coal and ash handling, and wastewater treatment processes.

Serving many markets
We serve many markets, including oil and gas, power, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, metals and minerals, marine and turbocharging.

Among our projects in Singapore - the world’s busiest port - is a reliable, efficient ABB terminal management and control system to operate Horizon Singapore Terminals Pte Limited’s new 34-tank, 960,000 cubic meter petroleum storage complex on Jurong Island.

ABB professional services help customers improve total plant efficiency, eliminating bottlenecks, improving process logistics, extending equipment life, reducing downtime and achieving cost savings often worth millions of dollars.

ABB robotics solutions increase manufacturing speed and quality while protecting human operators from hazardous conditions in many markets, including the automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.
ABB serves many automation markets, including oil and gas, power, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, metals and minerals, marine and turbocharging.

We are a leading supplier of industrial robots, robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending.

Technology for safety
In Canada, a leading food manufacturer increased production and eliminated repetitive stress injuries for its workers in the process of palletizing 50 kg sacks of beans by installing an ABB robot.

In many automobile plants and foundries, ABB robots perform thousands of welding, sealing and painting and lifting tasks with speed, precision and safety unattainable by human operators.

Beyond manufacturing, ABB technologies are bringing new efficiency and comfort to residential and commercial buildings. In Dubai, the world’s tallest building is being equipped with ABB control solutions to monitor efficiency of such systems as air handling, water chilling, and power distribution. In London, ABB drives regulate the speed of air handling motors at Heathrow Airport to ensure the comfort of millions of passengers at lowest energy cost.

Increasingly, customers are outsourcing their entire plant appraisal and maintenance functions to focus solely on the core task of making quality products. ABB is a key provider of these full-service arrangements, assuming responsibility for the people and processes that influence customer profits – and sharing in the rewards.


Innovation is key
Innovation is a key element in the ongoing success of the ABB productivity portfolio, distinguishing it from our competitors.

We are developing new technologies in areas like advanced process control, real-time scheduling, predictive maintenance, wireless communications, remote asset management and smaller, smarter automation devices, in addition to performance-based services that help customers improve the efficiency of their installed assets.

We are continually searching for better ways to process the enormous streams of data generated in an industrial plant or utility, consistently and in real time, so that our customers will be 'Best in Class' manufacturers.

Our customers aren't the only ones to profit. At ABB, we put the same tools to work on our own processes, to boost the productivity of our own operations.

Last edited 2008-07-23
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    ABB ships more than one million automation products daily to end customers and channel partners, covering a huge range of industry and utility operations, as well as commercial and residential buildings.
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