ABB Reports Record Sales and Revenues for Low Voltage Drives

  • July 22, 2004
  • ABB
  • News
Strong product line, strengthening industrial economy, fueling demand for ABB drivesNEW BERLIN, WI, July 22, 2004 - That roaring sound is the sale of drives, Rick Hepperla, general manager of ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Low-Voltage Drives, told fellow employees last week at a mid-year meeting here.He credits the record sales and revenues to"the company's strong mix of new drive products," for creating increased customer acceptance and stimulating demand; and "the strengthening North American economy." These factors have contributed to rapid first-half growth and increased market share, he noted.Maximum Local Capacity, With Global Back-up -Customer demand in the U.S. continues to challenge ABB's local capacity to supply drives, "a great challenge to have! " Hepperla noted. "Fortunately, we are able to count on manufacturing capability from sister plants in both Europe and Asia to supplement local production during times of peak demand, illustrating the company's commitment to growth in North America."With this support, the New Berlin operation also can focus on "increasing production capacity and on-going continuous improvements" internally. These efforts have enabled the business unit's profitability in a single month (June) to exceed that of the entire first six months of 2003," Hepperla said.Hard work and strong employee commitment, combined with a six-day-a-week, 24/7 production schedule "is helping meet customer demand," said Hepperla. The synergy from all the individual and team efforts is improving customer service, reducing backlog and lead times, while orders continue to grow. "Output from the New Berlin facility is higher than it has ever been up over 25 percent year-to-date over comparable periods; the trajectory and an ability over time to achieve even higher levels of output through this year and on into next is tremendous," he said.Growth Across Both Industrial and Commercial Markets - ABB drives provide benefits to the Industrial and Commercial markets the company serves, respectively. The company is a leading supplier of drives to the Commercial markets in the U.S., where drives are used in HVAC applications that include exhaust fans, fume hoods, re-circulation pumps, condenser fans, cooling towers, paralleled chilled water, and booster pump systems. As a global leader in Industrial markets, the company's motor and drive products are used in industries, ranging from power generation to household appliances, windmills to cruise ships, steel plants to paper mills, plastic extruders to ski lifts."There is significant growth in both market segments and it is especially strong in the industrial market," noted Hepperla. "With the commercial market continuing to show, and the significant interest and growth from the industrial market, it's a period of time when the counter cycles we've seen, historically, are not defined and both markets are showing healthy growth."Capacity Planning Again! --Near-term sales and revenue indications, which, of course, are easiest to forecast, are "very positive," Hepperla said. And that basis of demand makes planning for the future interesting, challenging, and fun, he said. "To return to a focus on local capacity planning and consideration of long-term demand, following the difficult economy of the last three-to-four years, bodes well for our customers, employees and company."ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Automation Products, Low-Voltage Drives, is the world's largest manufacturer of electric motors and drives. In the USA, an integrated channel of sales representatives, distributors, and system integrators allow ABB, New Berlin, Wisconsin, to supply a complete line of energy-efficient electric drives, motors and engineered drive systems to a wide range of industrial and commercial customers. Products manufactured include AC and DC variable speed drives for electric motors from 1/8th through 135,000 HP, and application-specific drive system solutions to meet diverse customer needs ( ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 115,000 people. The company's U.S. operations employ about 9,000 in manufacturing and other facilities in 40 states.

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