March 25, 2009

Headlines from Today’s Activities
- Straight Talk from ABB Chief
- Bundled Benefits Are iICEing on the Cake
- Boiler Efficiencies Optimized at Arkema
- Integration, Energy Efficiency Central to ABB Strategy
- Commonality Innovations Fuel Uncommon Instrumentation
- Common Platform Reduces Complex Project Risk

Straight Talk from ABB Chief
“Now that I’ve been at ABB for seven months, I think I know enough to be dangerous,” joked Joe Hogan, ABB Group CEO, at a Town Hall Meeting this week at ABB Automation and Power World in Orlando. “You can’t come into a company with a designed playbook. You have to learn the company, and I’ve spent these seven months talking to people and doing that.”

Some themes emerged as Hogan answered questions from ABB corporate HR director Gary Steele and the audience. Hogan sees himself as the product of a blue–collar upbringing, tempered by his GE experience. “I’m a very private person, which is hard in this job. I love business, I love technology and I love people—and business is about people.”

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“I was a staff executive for Jack Welch, which meant I carried his bags.” ABB’s Joe Hogan shared the experiences at GE and elsewhere that have shaped his leadership outlook and agenda for ABB.

Bundled Benefits Are iICEing on the Cake
“I want to stress that we’re not a product supplier,” began John Ieraci, PE, PMP, marketing and sales manager for ABB Power Generation Canada’s systems division in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. “While ABB does supply products, our mandate is to take these products and use our extensive systems engineering capabilities to develop specific solutions for our customers. In fact, it’s our electrical expertise that sets us apart from our competitors, whether they’re EPCs or suppliers.”

Indeed, ABB Power Generation Canada’s mandate goes way beyond merely delivering products to providing complete automation and electrification solutions to its customers, continued Ieraci. This ABB business unit refers to these turnkey solutions as Instrumentation, Control and Electrification (IEC) or integrated ICE (iICE). Ieraci presented “Benefits of Bundling Instrumentation, Control and Electrical Systems” this week at the ABB Automation and Power World 2009 in Orlando.

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“Many customers don’t realize that ABB can do these projects.” ABB’s John Ieraci profiled success stories for the company’s integrated Instrumentation, Control and Electrification (iICE) project methodology.

Boiler Efficiencies Optimized at Arkema
Volatile energy costs are on the radar screens of most companies, but at Arkema’s chemical plant in Calvert City, Ky., Dwight Stoffel and his staff were intent upon fixing the inefficiencies of their boiler operations. “From 1989 to 2003, the average price of a barrel of oil was about $20,” explained Robert Horton, business manager, ABB Optimization Services, who presented the results of his group’s consultative efforts with Arkema at ABB Automation and Power World 2009 in Orlando, Fla. “Oil prices are a leader for all energy prices. By 2005, oil was at $50, and when it peaked at around $147 in July 2008, our project was already well underway.”

The Arkema site has four boilers, which produce steam at slightly different levels because they are different sizes and were installed at different times. The first two, both installed in 1952, are brick–set with forced–draft intake and induced-draft removal fans. Both are rated at 40,000 lb steam/hour (klb/hr). The third boiler, a 1965 economizer, includes only a forced-draft fan and is rated at 75 klb/hr, but it was typically operated at a maximum of 60 klb/hr. An additional 1996 economizer FGR boiler was operated identically to the third.

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“A reduction in oxygen means real fuel savings.” Robert Horton of ABB Optimization Services explained how chemical manufacturer Arkema made his team’s services pay off in less than six months.

Integration, Energy Efficiency Central to ABB Strategy
“We must increase productivity without compromising safety,” began Peter Terwiesch, ABB chief technology officer, in an executive briefing on the company’s future direction in automation at ABB Automation and Power World in Orlando today.

“We aren’t seeing customers that are too interested in building new plants right now, so our objective must be to extend asset life,” Terwiesch continued. “We must help our customers optimize energy use and help them overcome workforce shortages now and in the future. We must focus on integration, new functionality, more flexible infrastructure and open standards.”

Noting the 30th anniversary of ABB’s safety offering this year, Terwiesch discussed the flexibility of the company’s current approach.

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“The ecological payback time on using one of our drives is a single day.” ABB CTO Peter Terwiesch outlined how the company will continue to help industry save energy and improve productivity.

Commonality Innovations Fuel Uncommon Instrumentation
After the years it spent acquiring leading instrumentation brands, such as Taylor, Fischer & Porter, Bailey, K–Flow and others, ABB’s technology leaders report they and their colleagues have been working mightily to coordinate many of these formerly disparate technologies. To provide an update on these efforts, Sean Keeping and Pat Cashwell presented “What’s New in Instrumentation? And Why It Matters” this week at ABB Automation and Power World 2009 in Orlando. Keeping is technology vice president for ABB’s automation technology, instrumentation and metering business area. Cashwell is ABB’s vice president for instrumentation and field instrumentation.

“Our primary goals are to develop products based on common technologies, provide a common look and feel and method of operation, minimize component variety and improve their quality,” said Keeping. “We’re also working to achieve the best quality device integration between ABB and third–party systems, develop the best integration tools, device–type managers (DTMs), electronic device descriptions (EDDs) and asset monitors, and provide a common interface and user experience with all ABB instruments.

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“New ABB instrumentation products are built on five basic electronics and interface platforms that share technology.” ABB’s Sean Keeping provided a tour of the company’s industry leading instrumentation offerings.

Common Platform Reduces Complex Project Risk
How do you coordinate a project with international partners when you’re providing electrical, instrumentation and telecommunication (EI&T) systems for multiple projects and sites?

The Peregrino oil field, located in the Campos Basin area of offshore Brazil, is estimated to have a recoverable volume of 300 million to 600 million barrels of heavy crude oil. An initial development project, comprising two wellhead platforms (WHPs) and a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) was intricate from the start, and a variety of factors only made it more so.

“This project was complex in its execution, combining ABB offices in the U.S. and Norway with fabrication in Texas and Singapore, and final commissioning in Brazil,” said John Oyen, ABB’s business development manager for oil and gas in North America, in his presentation this week at ABB Automation and Power World 2009 in Orlando.

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“EI&T represents only 3% to 4% of the capital spend, but 30% to 40% of the project risk.” ABB’s John Oyen discussed the on–schedule deployment–despite international complications–of wellhead platforms and floating production/storage/offloading projects for Brazil’s Peregrino oilfield.

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