Chancellor Merkel, President Peña Nieto experience ABB’s world-leading EV chargers at Hanover Fair

Alexander Wolfe

CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer shows Terra HP fast-charging station to Chancellor Merkel and Mexican President Peña Nieto

At the Hanover Fair in Germany yesterday morning, ABB was proud to host German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for a presentation on EV fast-charging systems. ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer met with the two world leaders to tell them about the capabilities of the Terra HP chargers on display and to emphasize the importance of investing in infrastructure to support the world’s ongoing transition to electric mobility.

In front of an audience of journalists and customers, Spiesshofer explained that the latest Terra chargers are capable of providing an electric vehicle with enough power in just eight minutes to travel 200 kilometers. Networks of these chargers are now being built around the globe, ensuring that, in the near future, the drivers of EVs will be just as certain to find a convenient charging station as they now are to find a filling station. ABB is a world-leading provider of high-power charging stations, with more than 6,500 units installed in 60 countries around the globe.

When Chancellor Merkel expressed interest in the cost of the Terra HP, Spiesshofer explained how cost-effective the units are, not just on their own, but as a component in the complete e-mobility solutions that are now being developed. He went on to describe the importance of integrating more renewables into the energy supply, with the help of ABB’s hallmark technologies like HVDC, so that the inherent cleanliness and efficiency of EVs is not undercut by a heavy reliance on fossil fuel sources that generate high levels of pollutants or greenhouse gases.

The Terra HP demo is just one highlight of the ABB booth, which is brimming with cutting-edge products and solutions. To help conference attendees assimilate the broad array of technologies, they can take an iPad-powered guided tour through the exhibit, which showcases ABB’s pioneering leadership in digitalization, automation, electrification and robotics.

The tour features a 360-degree, augmented reality virtual exploration of ABB’s cross-industry, digitally enabled portfolio of solutions and services. The centerpiece of the booth walkthrough is the ABB Ability “lane,” a pathway lined with large video screens showcasing the catalog of more than 210 ABB Ability solutions available today.

An ABB Ability wall in the booth serves as a central meeting point, with ABB staff on hand to answer questions and guide visitors to additional information available on interactive screens and tablet PCs placed throughout the booth.

The augmented reality iPads can be used by visitors to digitally scan the broad catalog of ABB Ability solutions and dive deeper, via an “x-ray view,” into selected solutions. For example, the story about ABB Ability Smart Sensor will spotlight how the sensors enable motors to become part of the Internet of Things. The smart sensors support remote monitoring of vital parameters such as vibration and temperature. This information can be used to analyze a motor’s operation in real time, boosting efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

ABB Ability Wall at the Hanover Fair 2018

Visitors to the ABB booth are sure to notice the prominent display of an ABB FIA Formula E Championship race car – the EV cousin of Formula 1 Grand Prix auto racing. After looking it over, they can try it out – virtually, at least – using a racetrack simulator, which recreates the Formula E experience using VR goggles and sensory feedback controls.

For buses, ABB offers TOSA, the speediest charging system available anywhere. The ultrafast flash charger replenishes bus batteries in just 20 seconds at selected stops as passengers board and disembark, paving the way for the next generation of silent, flexible, zero-emission urban mass transit. In addition, ABB offers a complete range of solutions for the electrification of ships, railways and cable cars.

The ABB FIA Formula E championship race car

Digital solutions across the power chain have a large footprint in the ABB booth. Showcased products include the world’s first digitally integrated power transformer to enable customers to remotely monitor vital parameters for improved reliability and higher utilization of grid assets and power networks. Also on display is ABB Ability TXpert, the company’s digital distribution transformer.

Another highlight at the booth is ABB Ability TXplore, a submersible transformer inspection robot, which makes it possible to internally inspect transformers without draining their insulating oil, making the task safer and less expensive.

Aligning with ABB’s commitment to deliver electricity to any plug, anywhere, the ABB Digital Substation enables the smarter power systems of tomorrow. A key component of next-generation grids, the substation uses fiber-optic digital communications in place of legacy copper, delivering enhanced safety, flexibility and availability of power, while reducing cost, risk and environmental impact.

ABB’s commitment to a stronger and more reliable grid is evident in a display on ABB’s high-voltage direct current technology (HVDC) and its flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS). HVDC transmits power efficiently over long distances and is ideal for integrating distant renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind parks, into the power grid. FACTS boost power capacity and improve stability in existing grids, enabling more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact.

At the Fair, ABB is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Gas-insulated switchgear. With over 30,000 installations worldwide, GIS uses pressurized sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) as its insulating gas instead of air, supporting safe operations in confined spaces, with available ratings from 72.5 kV up to 1200 kV. Over the past five decades, GIS has been a key enabler for urbanization, allowing substations to be built in only 10 percent of the space required by earlier, air-insulated technology.

ABB’s efforts to help the automotive industry manage the transition towards the e-car factory of the future are on display with YuMi®, the state-of-the-art collaborative robot that is changing the way people think about assembly automation, and SafeMove2, the safety-certified monitoring system, which enables robots to safely share working spaces with people.

ABB today supports mass customization in automotive manufacturing, across the entire process from body shop to final trim and assembly. ABB’s complete solutions utilize adaptive controllers and moving parts conveyors – called automated guided vehicles (AGVs) – to support the manufacturing stage where doors, bumpers and interiors (including the driver’s “cockpit”) are added to the vehicle’s welded but unfinished “body-in-white” shell.

For process industries, which are transforming operations at every level, booth highlights include SensyMaster, the all-digital, cost-effective solution for precise and dynamic direct mass-flow measurements of gases.

Especially in the process industry, many operators are looking for ways to optimally expand existing plants and to increase efficiency. With broad capabilities across three critical domains, ABB Ability System 800xA is helping. Not just a distributed control system (DCS), it is also an electrical control system and a safety system, with the capacity to improve efficiency, operator performance and asset utilization. In addition, the scalable and reliable Freelance DCS packs the full functionality of a distributed control system into a small footprint.

To help customers throughout the globe, ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centers are playing an increasingly important role. The centers perform real-time data analysis and connect customers’ operations with ABB experts. This results in more efficient operations, by providing the right information at the right time to the right people. One of biggest, real-world wins from the centers is happening right now in the marine world. To help managers of large, oceangoing fleets cut energy costs, the centers collect data – on speed, draft, water depth, wave height – from each vessel’s propulsion system. Real-time analysis results in recommendations to vessel operators for setting optimum trim, propeller speed and other parameters. The result is reductions in propulsion energy costs of up to 5 percent.

Intelligent motion is showcased in Hannover with products from B&R, which was acquired by ABB in 2017 and has been integrated into ABB’s Industrial Automation division as its global Machine & Factory Automation business unit. As well as having a presence at the ABB booth, B&R has its own, separate booth in Hall 9. B&R’s ACOPOStrak is an intelligent, flexible transport system that is setting a new standard for production effectiveness in the smart factory of the future. Also featured is B&R’s Orange Box, a brownfield analytics solution, which can access previously unreadable data from digitally isolated machinery.

About the author

Alexander Wolfe

Alexander Wolfe is a member of the ABB External Communications team. He focuses on creating thought-leadership content to tell the story of ABB’s pioneering technology in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation, and power grids.
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