The ABB Automation & Power World 2011 held in Orlando,
FL put a technology focus on the trend to convergence of power and automation,
the push for a stronger and smarter power grid and diverse group of product
introductions. The conference attracted a record number of participants for any
ABB event, totaling more than 4,200 attendees.
"There is a definite trend toward the convergence of power
and automation. Whether we are talking about utility or industry, user needs increasingly
mention both together," says Peter Terwiesch, chief technology officer for ABB
during a technology briefing at the Automation and Power World event.
"On the utility side, a couple years ago everyone was only
talking about the smart grid but today with the trend to increase the
penetration of renewables and reliability challenges in the grid, people are
talking about the stronger and smarter grid. In industry, energy efficiency is
a big theme combined with productivity. So from the needs side, power and
automation fit together well."
The continued convergence of key market issues such as the
need to improve energy efficiency, optimize all aspects of manufacturing
productivity and use of raw materials, and critical issues such as cyber security
and process safety, have exponentially increased in interest for automation and
power customers. ABB's scope of supply and resident expertise addresses the
entire spectrum of the energy efficiency and industrial productivity issues,
from power generation and distribution to use in production and automation, as
well as process reliability, efficiency and safety.
"From the basic technology side,
automation offers the power of integration and the ability to use information
and computational technologies to put information together from heterogeneous
and diverse sources. On the power side, power electronics is playing a bigger
role and is a contributor to convergence," Terwiesch says.
Key product introductions during the event included:
robot portfolio: The IRB 2600 is a new family of fourth-generation robots to
increase productivity in arc welding, material handling, machine tending and
other process applications.
- Symphony Plus
control system: This is the latest generation of ABB's Symphony distributed control
- Asset Optimization
Software: New software package for true predictive and proactive maintenance
optimizes high voltage circuit breaker asset availability and performance.
Capacitance Meter: Newly-developed meter (CB-2000) offers compact design and
low weight, making it easy to carry when conducting measurements
- Relion protection
and control product family: Comprehensive portfolio of protection and control
products is designed using the IEC 61850 standard for generation, transmission,
distribution and industrial applications.
software: New generation of product adds ways to analyze and present data for users
of ScreenMaster videographic recorders.
- FieldKey wireless
adapter: New device unlocks HART process and asset information and makes it
easy to add, point by point, to existing 4 to 20 mA HART instruments and
- New medium voltage
drive: ABB's new 4kV medium voltage drive achieves ultra-low harmonic
performance in a compact package for quick installation
ABB Automation & Power World is a comprehensive user's conference
and exhibition that showcases ABB's extensive automation and power offerings.
The 2011 event included more than 500 hours of workshops, customer case
histories, partner presentations, and hands-on training sessions as well as an
exhibit hall and demonstration areas.
ABB also announced the dates and venue for ABB Automation
& Power World 2012. The event will return to the George R. Brown Convention
Center in Houston, Texas, on April 23-26, 2012.