Electrification Products Division
The Electrification Products division provides solutions across the full electrical value chain from the substation to the point of consumption. The innovations from this business enable a safer and more reliable electrical flow, with a full range of low- and medium-voltage products and solutions for intelligent protection and connection as well as pre-engineered packaged solutions and services tailored to customers’ needs. The portfolio – within increasingly digital and connected solutions – includes modular substation packages, distribution automation products, switchgear, circuit breakers, measuring and sensing devices, control products, wiring accessories, and enclosures and cabling systems, including KNX systems (global standard for home and building control) designed to integrate and automate a building’s lighting, heating and ventilation, and security and data communication networks.
The division delivers products to customers through a global network of channel partners and end-customers. Most of the division’s revenue is derived from sales through distributors, wholesalers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators, utilities and panel builders, with some direct sales to end-users, utilities and other ABB divisions.
The Electrification Products division had approximately 42,200 employees as of December 31, 2017, and generated $10.1 billion of revenues in 2017.
The Electrification Products division serves a wide range of customers who are connecting, protecting and controlling electricity from a number of industry segments including buildings, data centers, rail, wind and solar, food and beverage, marine, and oil and gas.
Products and Services
The Protection and Connection business offers products that protect, control and connect people, plants and systems. ABB offers solutions to restore power rapidly in case of a fault and helps provide optimum protection for people and electrical installations. The product offering ranges from miniature circuit breakers to high-capacity molded-case and air-circuit breakers and includes safety switches used for power distribution in factories and buildings, switchgear systems for short circuit and overload protection as well as cabling and connection components. In addition, the business offers terminal blocks, a range of contactors, starters, proximity sensors, safety products for industrial protection, limit switches and manual motor starters, along with electronic relays and overload relays.
The Building Products business provides smart home and intelligent building control systems, also known as KNX protocol, to optimize efficiency, safety and comfort through the automated management of lighting, shutters and security. In addition, the business supplies conventional wiring accessories, industrial plugs and sockets, and enclosures ideal for single family homes, multiple dwellings, commercial buildings, infrastructure and industrial applications.
The Installation Products business offers products for low-voltage wire and cable management, making the task of fastening, protecting, insulating and connecting wires easier and quicker for industrial applications, construction, communications, utility and OEM professionals, as well as do-it-yourself specialists. The business offers emergency lighting and lighting for explosive environments, as well as lightning protection and earth grounding apparatus.
The Medium Voltage Products business helps utility, industry and transport & infrastructure customers to improve power quality and control, reduce outage time and enhance operational reliability and efficiency. The business offers products and services that largely serve the power distribution sector, often providing the link between high-voltage transmission systems and low-voltage users. Its comprehensive offering includes medium-voltage equipment (1 to 50 kilovolts), indoor and outdoor circuit breakers, reclosers, fuses, contactors, relays, instrument transformers, sensors, motor control centers, ring main units for primary and secondary distribution, as well as a range of air- and gas-insulated switchgear. It also produces indoor and outdoor modular systems and other solutions to facilitate efficient and reliable power distribution.
The Electrification Solutions business offers systems solutions to customers across low- and medium-voltage applications, integrating the entire offering from the division into complete solutions for customers, adding value through design, engineering, project management and service.
The Power and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure business supplies power generation products and solutions including electric vehicle charging and solar inverters for residential, commercial and utility applications, solar packages with integrated energy storage solutions and power protection solutions such as UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) solutions, status transfer switches, power distribution units, power converters, and fuel cell inverters. In electro mobility, ABB has been offering rapid charging solutions with more than 5,000 networked systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles installed worldwide. ABB’s portfolio of DC fast charging solutions ranges from 20kW wall boxes to ultra-fast charging solutions for cars and 600kW electric buses. In 2017, ABB introduced a leading technology for flash-charging and onboard traction equipment which recharges buses in 20-second bursts at stops, while passengers are embarking and disembarking. This technology is designed to deliver higher passenger capacity, lower noise and emission-free public transport.
In addition, the service offerings of the Electrification Products division span the entire value chain, from the moment a customer makes the first inquiry to disposal and recycling of the product. Throughout the value chain, ABB provides training, technical support and customized contracts. All of this is supported by an extensive global sales and service network.
Sales and Marketing
Sales are primarily made through indirect sales channels such as distributors and wholesalers to end customers including installers and system integrators. Direct customers include utilities, panel builders and machine builders, as well as other ABB divisions. The proportion of direct sales compared to channel partner sales varies among the different industries, product technologies and geographic markets. The business is focused on creating demand to support its channel sales, with a range of promotional activities and support services including configuration and other digital solutions.
The Electrification Products division’s principal competitors vary by product line, but they include Eaton Corporation, Legrand, Schneider, Siemens, Hubbell, Leviton, Rittal and Chint Electrical.
The Electrification Products division’s capital expenditures for property, plant and equipment totaled $218 million in 2017, compared to $215 million and $228 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Investments in 2017 were primarily related to footprint changes, equipment replacement and upgrades. Geographically, in 2017, Europe represented 56 percent of the capital expenditures, followed by the Americas (32 percent) and AMEA (12 percent).