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April 29, 2008

Headlines from Today's Activities
- Record-Breaking Quarter Latest Evidence of ABB Success
- Innovation Requires Commitment to Collaboration
- Local Touch, Global Standards Key to Energy Project Success
- Tried and True: ABB’s Wedge, Swirl and VA Meters
- Dad, Did You Get My IM? Sincerely—Your Hardware
- ABB’s Approach to System Life-Cycle Management

Record-Breaking Quarter Latest Evidence of ABB Success
In his first appearance in North America since becoming CEO as well as CFO of ABB, Michel Demare, who has a long history with Dow Chemical Company, talked about ABB's commitment to collaboration. Of course, ABB's most famous collaboration is with Dow, which added gravitas to Demare's remarks.

"And that is what I want to talk to you about today-the power of successful collaborations to drive prosperity," Demare said. "I want to explain what I mean when I say that ABB is committed to collaboration, which is a key engine of our success."

And evidence of success there is.

"Operational discipline, strong markets and ongoing expansion of our business in emerging markets made 2007 a record year for ABB, despite the turmoil in the financial sector which began last summer," he went on. "Our order book increased by 19 percent (in local currencies) to $34 billion in 2007. Our revenues grew by 18 percent to $29 billion.

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“Most real innovations are not the product of a few geniuses--they spring from the interaction of human networks and the exploration of ideas freely expressed in an atmosphere of openness and trust.” ABB Ltd. CEO and CFO Michel Demaré on the Power of Collaboration, speaking this week at ABB Automation World.


Innovation Requires Commitment to Collaboration
"We're taking and using customers' deep insight into their businesses because innovation is at the intersection of insight and invention," began John Brantley, general manager of IBM's global chemical and petrochemical industries, in his keynote address at ABB Automation World this week in Houston. "This also is changing the nature and scope of innovation because open, multi-disciplinary, global collaboration enables new product and service innovations."

ABB and IBM reached an agreement to begin formally collaborating four years ago, Brantley continued. He said their joint efforts are helping oil and gas companies extract fuel from deep-sea and other hard-to-reach sources, such as Petrobras' new field with an 8-billion barrel reserve that's located under 7,000 feet of water, 10,000 feet of rock and sand, and 6,600 feet of salt.

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“Collaborate openly, partner aggressively and innovate continuously,” says IBM’s John Brantley, sharing words of wisdom for responding quickly to a rapidly changing competitive environment.


Local Touch, Global Standards Key to Energy Project Success
ExxonMobil is the largest process industry firm in the world, so it is always interesting to hear the company’s thoughts on the state of the world economy. Of particular interest is ExxonMobil's take on the intersection of the economy and the energy sector.

“We believe that worldwide energy demand will increase at an annual rate of 1.3% from 2005 to 2030,” said Neil Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company, in his keynote address to the 2008 ABB Automation World conference this week in Houston. “That’s a 40% increase over today, but also represents a significant decrease from the 1.8% annual growth in recent years past,” added Duffin.

Energy demand will be met from four main sources. Oil will grow at 1.2%, coal will grow at 0.9%, natural gas will grow at 1.7%, and other sources of energy will grow at 1.7%.

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“Keys to execution excellence are defining the right strategy, up-front planning, teamwork and the discipline to adhere to initial design.” ExxonMobil Development’s Neil Duffin on how the global energy giant will continue to help meet the world’s growing energy demands.


Tried and True: ABB’s Wedge, Swirl and VA Meters
When ABB acquired Elsag Bailey and Taylor Instruments, along with the acquisition came a set of interesting, unique flow devices, as well as some trusted old friends like magnetic flowmeters and rotameters. Steve Pagano, senior product manager for the venerable Wedge flowmeter and the vortex and swirlmeter product lines, displayed the latest iterations of these unique devices at the 2008 ABB Automation World Exhibition, held this week in Houston.

“We are taking the Wedge places it has never been before,” he said. “We’re using it in the tar sands in Canada. We’ve made it out of special materials, and we’re using it to measure oil-sand slurry. It is working very well, and we are selling more of them every month.”

» Read more

This Wedgemeter, complete with redundant remote seals for coker applications, was among the tried and true flowmeter technologies on display in the 40,000-sq.ft. exhibit area at the 2008 ABB Automation World.


Dad, Did You Get My IM? Sincerely—Your Hardware
It may seem a little nightmarish at first. Dozens of devices, organized into communities and sending instant messages like teenagers. Yikes.

Now, it’s one thing if your kids have a more active social life than you do. That’s both expected and traditional. However, when your plant-floor devices are more socially involved than you are, it’s way past time to wake up and get involved.

To help engineers and other technical professionals take advantage of some of the latest online, Internet, and web-based tools, John DuBay Jr., ABB’s business development manager for remote services in North America, presented “Improved Asset Reliability with Remote Diagnostics” on the first day of ABB Automation World 2008 in Houston.

DuBay said ABB’s remote capabilities usually include secure connectivity, expertise delivered via online connections, and device management solutions provided by remotely delving into on-site devices.

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“We just asked ourselves why couldn’t there be a DeviceSpace that could use next-generation Internet and enterprise-based technologies as an information platform,” says ABB’s John DuBay about the company’s efforts to develop “collaborative device communities,” similar in many ways to the Internet’s Facebook and MySpace communities.


ABB’s Approach to System Life-Cycle Management
All automation projects and systems need to evolve as business needs, markets and technologies change. ABB provides a host of life-cycle management tools to enable easy evolution of systems and software. The goal is to maximize return on assets through operational excellence, explained Mark Bitto, ABB global business development manager for Harmony Systems, in his presentation this week at ABB Automation World in Houston. “Life-cycle management accomplishes this by extending asset life, by increasing asset availability and by increasing asset productivity,” he said.

ABB’s life-cycle management program has four components: Evolution Strategy, Life-Cycle Policy, Software Asset Management Program and Evolution Planning. Evolution strategy emphasizes evolution rather than migration. “Rip-and-replace is avoided in order to protect investments in intellectual property and capital equipment,” continued John Murray, vice president and global business development manager for MOD300 Systems.

» Read more

“Evolution planning supports justification by illustrating concrete improvements in availability, quality and/or performance improvements,” says ABB’s Mark Bitto of the company’s four-stage approach to life-cycle management.

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