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Convergence of Power and Automation

Convergence of Power and Automation

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.

Convergence of Power and Automation
"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:
Convergence of Power and Automation

  • Expanded midrange 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 systems (DCS).
  • Asset Optimization Software: New software package for true predictive and proactive maintenance optimizes high voltage circuit breaker asset availability and performance.
  • Portable 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.
  • DataManager 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 networks.
  • 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.
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