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ABB Instrumentation Group towards the future

ABB has identified several key trends it must exploit to maintain strong growth in its instrumentation business, according to ARC.

The company wants to help its customers to better utilize their installed base of instruments through asset management initiatives and applying wireless technology, and to fill the MAC/MIC role for new projects to help customers reduce engineering, operations, and maintenance costs.

ABB’s financial position is very strong; the company enjoys double digit revenue growth and strong earnings. Indeed, ABB’s instrumentation business, including analytical products, is over $1 billion. ABB has worked hard to structure its operations to reduce costs, and has done much to reconcile its various product lines, standardising housings and communications interfaces for all of its instruments, so that all have a common look and feel for users. More importantly, standardisation helps to streamline development efforts, and reduce time to market for new instruments. ABB’s new 364 pressure transmitter and TTF/H 300 temperature transmitter both use this common interface, as will all new analytical products and flowmeters.

Emerging markets, such as China and India, offer another big opportunity for ABB, and the company is working to expand its global footprint to take advantage of the large Greenfield projects in these areas. ABB is also building a huge factory in Shanghai, which will be operational by April 2009. In addition to pressure, temperature, analytical, and flow instrument manufacturing, the new facility will also house a robotics production line. The company also plans to build a large plant in Faridabad, India, and will modernize its existing factories in Italy, Germany, and the U.S.

ABB is also looking to an increased focus on service to grow its revenues, by offering customers assistance with product configuration and maintenance.

New products are also part of the mix. In addition to the 300 TTH/F temperature transmitter and 364 pressure transmitter, which were both recently launched, ABB’s new analytical instruments are utilizing the standardizsed communications interface, including the Navigator 600 Silica & Phosphate analysers. ABB also plans to introduce a new temperature transmitter line, SensyTemp, and has recently launched a new flowmeter line in Europe, which it expects to introduce to the US market in the future.

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