Global solutions, local relationships – join the robotics family

Being global doesn't mean sacrificing local and close relationships-in fact, it just means your family is much bigger.

With temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) in Germany right now, there’s certainly a reason for the attendees of ABB Robotics’ annual European Value Provider Conference and Customer Days–held in the historic Phoenix Hall in downtown Mainz–to be shedding their suit jackets and ties.

In fact, the heat has become one of the main comedic themes of the event, which up until this year has been held in Sweden. “When we planned to make a big change and have the event in Germany, we could never have guessed that a such a rare heat wave would strike,” joked Henrik Ryegard, Head of the German Robotics Local Business Unit, in an opening session. “So you may find it will be just a bit hotter than Sweden. You may also find that there will be less herring and salmon, but there will also be far fewer mosquitoes—and regardless of the change of venue it will be just as fun.”

Indeed, even this unprecedented heat wave and lack of herring couldn’t hold back the feeling that the event is full of energy and excitement about the future of the robotics industry. After hearing many of my colleagues and several of our partners from around the world talk about new products, innovative solutions, and frontiers in robotics, I’m left with a refreshing sense that a strong global family exists within ABB Robotics.

As the Content and Editorial Manager for ABB Robotics, I’ve spent the last year searching the planet for all the interesting stories that our customers are making with our robots. From the smallest projects to the largest, I have interacted with every type of customer we serve. I’ve been to trade show after trade show and to ABB Robotics conferences on multiple continents. Through it all the one thread that is abundantly clear is that our customers truly value the friendships that every ABB colleague I’ve met has striven to build, uphold and maintain.

And now that I’ve experienced the European Value Provider Conference, the idea that ABB offers these local relationships as part and parcel of doing business with us has only become clearer. This is a particularly keen accomplishment considering that ABB Robotics operates in 53 countries and 100 offices around the globe.

“I am pleased to be here today and to see how our family has kept on growing and getting closer and closer,” said Per Vegard Nerseth, Head of the Robotics Business Unit, during his opening presentation. “I have watched the interactions between all the people here and it has shown me how close this team and this family have become. This is really one of our core strengths and one of the main reasons for our success.”

Even while there are many reasons around the world to maintain caution about the market–natural disasters, economic uncertainty, and public unrest, just to name a few–the robotics industry has kept growing and getting stronger. In particular, ABB Robotics’ share of that market has also expanded around the world. In large part this is likely due to our ability to deliver global solutions but maintain a strong local presence and family atmosphere in our relationships.

During his candid conversation, Per Vegard Nerseth remarked how 2012 was the best year ever for ABB Robotics. “We saw record order intake, we saw record revenue, we saw record sales of robots and it was just a fantastic year–not in small part due to the great support from the Value Providers here today,” he said. “I am confident that one of the main reasons why we are performing so well together is our strong global footprint and network. With our vast network of offices, we are able to be local and close to our customers without sacrificing our global reach.”

While other industries are still very cautious about predicting the future, in robotics there is a sense that something big is about to happen, that we are on the cusp of a wholesale mindshift about how robots affect our daily lives. “We have already sold 20 percent more robots in the first five months of 2013 than we did in the same period last year,” said Nerseth. “Someday soon the market for robotics will explode and we are perhaps seeing the beginning stages of that explosion.”

It is this last comment that really strikes a note for all of us in the ABB Robotics family–our partners and colleagues alike. Bubbling underneath the surface there is an energy of renewal, a feeling that something bigger than just business is happening. With our global presence, our friendly people, and our desire to maintain every relationship we have no matter what it takes, ABB Robotics is well-positioned to help usher the robotic future in.


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About the author

Anne Waltenberger

I joined ABB Robotics Marketing Communications team in 2005 and have become passionate about both Robotics and Communications. I think I have the best job in the world. Being the Global Communications Manager for the most exciting product ABB has to offer and working with so many talented and skilled people from all over the world is a true pleasure. I have a degree in Linguistics, Psychology and Literature and benefit from them when trying to explain why robots can help to make this a better world.
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