ABB: A Silicon Valley Company

At home in the world of tech pioneers

Exploration, heading into the unknown, breaking new ground.

These are not just the domains of adventures like Bertrand Piccard and his Solar Impulse co-founder André Borschberg. They also describe the pioneering work being done at ABB. ABB is a leader in digital technology, with over 50% of the company’s offering now software related. It a leader in the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP), supporting the concept with process control systems, communication solutions and sensors. A recent, high profile examples of this is the Smart Sensor which, as ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer explained to US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, would save the same amount of power generated by 100 nuclear power stations, if it were fitted to all industral motors worldwide.

ABB Silicon Valley, a brand new facility in San Jose, brings together 5 teams, each working on cutting-edge technology solutions for industry. ABB Wireless makes communication networks for heavy industry such as utilities and mines, ABB Enterprise Software provides market management systems, ABB Power Conversion develops solar inverters for photovoltaic systems, Los Gatos Research makes devices to measure greenhouse and other gases and ABB Robotics is a global leader in the field of industrial robotics. By coming together under one roof, it is expected that a cross-disciplinary environment will be fostered, allowing these groups to more easily collaborate and help each other to innovate and create.

In April, the new occupants of ABB Silicon Valley were lucky enough to meet Bertrand Piccard, who took a trip to the offices to see the technology in action and deliver an inspiring speech, comparing his exploits to those of technicians endlessly poring over problems in labs until they reach that eureka moment.

The event underscored the importance of ABB’s presence in Silicon Valley, and also its heritage in the area: the company’s roots here stretch back to the 60s, and the research into Power System modeling carried out at Stanford University. Today, the industrial internet and cloud services are becoming ever more important, bringing the benefits of world-class data analytics to smaller productions facilities, and ABB is perfectly positioned to be a key provider of these services in the US and across the world.


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About the author

Conor Lennon

Formerly a broadcaster and communications consultant, I am currently based in Zurich as Global Special Projects Manager for ABB. I like to write about issues surrounding technology, sustainable development and society.
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