Moving a whale with the precision of a honey bee?

Västerås plant workers are dwarfed by the 12 meter high boiler.

ABB technologies do some really amazing things. But sometimes the ‘simpler' things we do are just plain cool.

An enormous boiler measuring some 12 meters (40 feet) in length – around the size of a humpback whale – was recently installed in ABB’s synchronous machines factory in Västerås, Sweden. The boiler is so large that roof of the building had to be opened to get it inside. The boiler was carefully designed to the available building space, and had to be maneuvered into position by three cranes with the accuracy of a few millimeters – about the size of a honey bee.

The boiler is one of the final steps in ABB’s 20 million Sweden Krona (US $3 million) upgrade investment to the site, which produces large motors and generators. There is increasing demand for large, high output motors in industries from oil and gas to pulp and paper. And, tougher grid code requirements are creating demand for robust and reliable generators, which connect to gas and steam turbines in many types of power plants.

According to ABB’s local business manager David Bjerghag, the investment will help shorten customer lead times by five days and increase the number of motors and generators produced, as well as increasing plant safety.



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About the author

Philip Lewin

I'm one of the many people sharing ABB's passion and great stories for robotics and industrial ingenu-ity. It’s exciting for me to be at the leading edge of a new age for one of the most fundamental things that people do - we make things. At the same time, the awareness has never been greater that economic progress, higher living standards and new ways of making things cannot come at the expense of our environment. I’m proud to contribute to this exciting and important discussion.
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